Lindsey Boylan’s Plan For
Incumbents and challengers alike calling for increased safety measures pertaining to petitioning in the name of democracy. But no one is talking about the larger issue of keeping voters and essential workers safe from the pandemic on election day. This is especially important now that the Presidential primary has been moved to June and turnout will likely be higher.
Ms. Boylan proposes expanding voting options that will help contain this pandemic.
Safe Polling Locations: Senior centers and other common meeting spaces are often used as polling sites. We need to make sure polling sites minimize the risk to vulnerable populations.
Early Voting: The more people can take advantage of early voting, the more people we can spread out across times and locations to avoid large crowds on election day. We should increase the required number of early voting locations to 1 for every 50,000 registered voters across the city and make sure people can start voting at least two weeks prior to election day.
Mail-in Ballots: This is one of the most important measures New York can take to ensure as many people as possible exercise their right to vote. Two thirds of states already offer no excuse absentee ballots. All registered voters should automatically receive an absentee ballot application with a self-addressed stamped envelope, with an option to remain on a permanent absentee list for the duration of the pandemic.
Same-day Registration: If voters have not updated their address, they should be able to correct the record and vote on election day — 22 states + Washington D.C. have already passed this reform. The process should be as seamless as possible for anyone who shows up to vote in the interest of keeping wait times low. This should also include anyone who shows up for early voting.
“The state has an opportunity to make these necessary voting reforms now while voters are actively paying attention to the news and receptive to transformative change that will become the new norm. After all, these are all common-sense measures for any election, let alone in the middle of a pandemic. Continually changing the system causes confusion with voters, decreasing turn out. These are the types of permanent changes candidates should be calling for if they truly care about democracy through this public health crisis.” — Lindsey Boylan
For more information, please visit lindseyboylan.com.