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Governor Andrew Cuomo

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie


Majority Leader John Flanagan
Leader Jeffrey Klein
New York State Capitol
Albany, New York

March 13, 2017

Dear Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan and Leader Klein,

Women of New York campaigned for decades, on the streets and at the ballot box to win suffrage 100
years ago this year. The leaders of that movement crossed lines of race, class and region to unite for a
stronger democracy. Today, we are united in our belief that the best way to commemorate their
accomplishment is by moving New Yorks voting laws into the 21st century.

As women leaders of New York, we call on you to enact early voting and comprehensive, automatic voter
registration two cornerstones of modern voter rights in this years 2017 final budget due April 1st.
The Governors Executive Budget includes a version of these proposals. The Assembly passed versions
of these proposals at the end of last legislative session. These policies are very popular, even across party
lines. Early voting has become the norm in 34 states, while New York would be in the vanguard joining
the 6 states that have automatic registration.

Every New Yorker deserves a democracy that is fair and promotes their full participation. We need action
now. In truth, New Yorks track record in this area is shameful. Our state consistently ranks amongst the
worst states in voter turnout. In the 2014 midterms, only 29% of New Yorks voting-age citizens
votedthe states lowest turnout in 40 years, ahead of only Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
As many as 40% of citizens of voting age in New York, or 5.5 million people, were not registered to vote
as of 2014, the most recent reliable data. This registration rate puts New York in the bottom third of the
country.

Across the country we see the disastrous impact of voter suppression laws, especially for communities of
color. But here in New York, we have our own kind of voter suppression laws registration laws that are
so antiquated that they are ineffective, or worse, negatively affecting New Yorkers ability to participate
in their democracy.

There are unsubstantiated claims of too many people voting in this country, but we know the truth the
real fraud is a system that keeps too many eligible Americans from voting. Our broken democracy must
be fixed with true voting rights reforms. Let us make New York a leader again.

Sincerely,

Addie A.E. Jenne, Member, New York State Assembly


Afua Atta-Mensah, Esq,Executive Director, Community Voices Heard
Alison Hirsh, Political Director, 32BJ SEIU
Alison McLean Lane, Legislator, Albany County
Alyssa Aguilera, Co-Executive Director,VOCAL-NY
Dr. Amy Hsin, Code Blue
Amy Harlib, Yoga for Peace, Justice and Harmony With the Planet.
Ana Mara Archila, Co- Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy
Andrea Miller, President, National Institute for Reproductive Health
Andrea Vocos, Community Organizer & Writer, Action Corps NYC, Democratic Socialists of America
Ann Tiffany, New Feminists for Justice
Aravella Simotas, Member, New York State Assembly
Patricia Fahy, Member, New York State Assembly
Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director, League of Women Voters of New York State
Barbara K. Thomas, Steering Committee Lead, League of Women Voters of Saratoga County
Bessie Schachter, State Committee Member, 73rd AD, New York State Democratic Committee
Beverly Cooper Neufel, President, PowHer New York
Brianna Cea, Regional Coordinator, Roosevelt Institute
Candis Tolliver, Deputy Political Director, SEIU local 32BJ
Carmen de la Rosa, Member, New York State Assembly
Carol A. Schrager, Co-Chair, New York Democratic Lawyers Council
Carol F Bullard, Ph.D. Capital District Organizing Team Leader NY4Democracy Coalition
Carole Coppens, Executive Director, YWCA Binghamton and Broome County, Inc.
Carole Hoffman, ROC/Acts
Carolyn Del Vecchio, Activist, Showing Up For Racial Justice
Carrie Gilroy, ROCitizen
Cassie Cleary, Organizer & Student Leader, Democracy Matters
Cathy Dang, Executive Director, CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities
Chelly Hegan, President & CEO, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood
Chelsie Callan, GLOW Progressives
Christine Sadowski, Executive Director, YWCA Orange County, NY
Christy D'Ambrosio, Youth Director, First Presbyterian Church, Albany NY
Claudia Calhoon, Director of Health Advocacy, The New York Immigration Coalition
Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Member, New York State Assembly
Cynthia DiBartolo, Esq., CEO, Tigress Financial Partners
Dahlia McManus, Deputy Director, Working Families Party
Deborah Axt, Co-Executive Director, Make the Road New York
Denise Murphy McGraw, Deputy Town Supervisor, Town of Niskayuna
Denise Young, President, Metro Justice, Rochester
DeNora Getachew, Executive Director, Generation Citizen New York
Diana C. Richardson, Member, New York State Assembly
Diana L. Wright, Business Owner, Completely Home Real Estate LLC
District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO
Dominica M. Quackenbush, Co-founder of Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance
Donna A. Lupardo, Member, New York State Assembly
Donna Lieberman, Executive Director, New York Civil Liberties Union
Donna Seymour, AAUW Public Policy Committee Member, American Association of University Women
Dorcey Applyrs, Common Council Member, City of Albany
Ellen C. Jaffee, Member, New York State Assembly
Ellen T. Kennedy, Past President, Citizen Action of New York
Erin Riddle, Chair, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter
Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President
Gianni Ortiz, Founder, Indivisible CD19 NY
Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, Author, "The Voting Rights War"
Hannah Blacm, County Legislator, Dutchess County
Hannah Sachs, Democracy Matters Campus Leader, Colgate University
Heather McGhee, President, Demos
Helen Rosenthal, Member, New York City Council
Irma Solis, Chapter Director, NYCLU-Suffolk
Jacqueline M. Ebanks, Executive Director, Women's City Club of New York
Jacquetta HarrisDirector, RHA
Jasmine Gripper, Legislative Director, Alliance for Quality Education
Jeanne Murphy, Treasurer, New York Democratic Lawyers Council
Jen Metzger, Town Councilwoman, Town of Rosendale
Jennifer Lee Yoshioka
Jennifer Schwartz Berky, Legislator, Ulster County Legislature
Jessica Frisco, Co-chair, Grassroots Action New York
Jo Anne Simon, Member, New York State Assembly
Joan Malin, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of New York City
Joan Mandle, Executive Director, Democracy Matters
JoJo Li, Co-Founder, 2 Hours A Week
Joo-Hyun Kang, Executive Director, Communities United for Police Reform Action Fund
Julia Fenster, Co-President,National Organization for Women Nassau Chapter
Julie Kushner, Director, UAW Region 9A
KaeLyn E.L. Rich, Chapter Director, Genesee Valley Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union
Karen E Magee President, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)
Karen Scharff, Executive Director, Citizen Action of New York
Kate Linker, President, Greater NYC for Change
Kathleen E. Koebrich, Public Citizen
Kathleen Stein, President, LWV of St. Lawrence County
Kelleigh McKenzie, Acting Chair, Ulster People for Justice & Democracy
L. Joy Williams, President, Brooklyn NAACP
Latrice Monique Walker , Member, New York State Assembly
Laura S. Forman, Member Leader, Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance
Leah Golby, Council Member, Albany Common Council
Lekia K. Hill, Owner/Active Voter, 3Es Consulting Group, Syracuse
Lenore Friedlaender, Assistant to the President, 32BJ SEIU
Leonard M. Kohen, Secretary, New York Democratic Lawyers Council
Linda B. Rosenthal, Member, New York State Assembly
Linda Sarsour, National Co-Chair, Women's March on Washington
Lisa Barron
Lisa Englert, Educator, Rochester City School District
Lisa Tyson, Director, Long Island Progressive Coalition
Liz Krueger, Senator, New York State Senate
Lou Jean Fleron, Board President, Partnership for the Public Good
Louisa Hackett, Director, Community Votes
Magenna Brink, Co-Chair, Grassroots Action NY
Margaret Fung, Executive Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Margaret Kwateng, Lead Coordinator, Hudson Valley Black Lives Matter Coalition
Marilyn Tedeschi, President, Freinds of the Women's Rights National Historical Park
Maritza Davila, Member, New York State Assembly
Mary S. Greene, Public Citizen
Melody Lopez, Director, NY Civic Engagement Table
Michaelle Solages, Member, New York State Assembly
Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, Fifth Avenue Committee
Natasha Cherry,Chair, City of Poughkeepsie Common Council
Nelini Stamp, National Membership Director, Working Families
Nily Rozic, Member, New York State Assembly
Onida Coward Mayers, Director of Voter Assistance, NYC Campaign Finance Board
Participatory Budgeting Project
Pauline Silsby, Student Leader, Democracy Matters
Raechel Ritzer, Student Leader, Democracy Matters SUNY Binghamton
Rebecca A. Seawright, Member, New York State Assembly
Rev. Emily McNeill, Acting Director, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS
Rodneyse Bichotte, Member, New York State Assembly
Sarah King, Co-Chair, Legislative Affairs, New York Democratic Lawyers Council
Saru Jayaraman, Co-director/Co-founder, Restaurant Opportunities Center United
Shabd Simon-Alexander, Co-Founder, 2 Hours A Week
Shannon Wong, Chapter Director, New York Civil Liberties Union, Lower Hudson Valley
Shelley Mayer, Member, New York State Assembly
Shirley Aldebol, Vice President, 32BJ SEIU
Shirley Rice, Hector Invincibles
Sonia Ossorio, President, National Organization for Women New York
Stephanie A. Miner, Mayor, City of Syracuse, N.Y.
Susan F Weber, Board Member, Citizen Action of the Capital District
Susan Van Dolsen, Co-Organizer, Westchester for Change
Sylvia Golbin Goodman, Executive Director, The Andrew Goodman Foundation
T. Elzora Cleveland, Parent & Grandmother, Parent Leader
Tanya Melich, Co-Founder, National Women's Political Caucus-GOP Taskforce
Toby Ann Stavinsky, Senator, New York State Senate
Tremaine Wright, Member, New York State Assembly
Velmanette Montgomery, Senator, New York State Senate
Vivian D. Kornegay, Member, City of Albany Common Council
Yael Melamede, Filmmaker, SALTY Features
Zakiyah Ansari, Advocacy Director, Alliance for Quality Education
Zephyr Teachout, Activist, Fordham Law School