NY State Senator Zellnor Myrie Statement on Early Voting in New York
The following comes courtesy of the Senator’s Office:
State Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie, Chair of the Senate Elections Committee, today issued the following statement on the conclusion of early voting in New York:
“Last January, the Senate passed my bill to make New York the 38th state in the US to allow early voting. At that time, we had no way of knowing just how vital expanding voting hours and days would be in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Over 2.5 million New Yorkers cast their ballot over the past nine days, including over 1.1 million in New York City alone– an astonishing number that validates our efforts last year. Across our city and state, voters waited on long lines and braved rain and cold to ensure their ballots would be counted in the most important election in our lifetimes. I am incredibly grateful to the poll workers who worked so hard in difficult conditions to keep things running smoothly, many of whom served for the first time this year. The lines were often long, but New Yorkers responded the way we always do– with patience, grace and good humor. I also honor those institutions that hosted early voting sites in this complicated year. Organizations that receive tax breaks or other public funds should always be willing to serve the voters who make those benefits possible.
“Overall, early voting was a great success but also raised several concerns. There were clearly too few sites to accommodate the level of interest we saw from voters, and there was also a wide disparity in the number of voters assigned to each site (from just 10,000 to over 100,000). Guidance for poll workers, voters and volunteers outside poll sites was sometimes inconsistent, and the number of scanners at some sites was insufficient. In the next Legislative session, I plan to review these and all other aspects of our election administration to ensure that New York voters receive the world-class democracy they deserve.
“What these past nine days have shown is that when you make voting easier and more accessible, voters respond with great enthusiasm. Our Majority has already demonstrated a willingness to do just that, and while New York can’t go from #WorstToFirst overnight, we are well on our way.”