Common Cause is anticipating an unprecedented number of New Yorkers will cast their ballots during the 2020 general election. The COVID-19 pandemic has placed new strains on New York’s election systems — and exacerbated existing issues. We saw a huge upsurge in absentee ballot requests from New Yorkers and while the vast majority of people received their ballots, a significant percentage did not. We need to act now to prepare and to protect our democracy in November.
During the June 2020 primary election, Common Cause NY mobilized over 45 nonpartisan roving poll monitors and 29 digital volunteers to help troubleshoot voting problems across the state. Over the course of three days, we successfully connected over 300 voters with appropriate resources and visited over 100 polling stations throughout the state. Now we are rallying members across the state to join our November Election Protection campaign.
We’re protecting our elections and ensuring every vote is counted because:
- In September 2018, a record-breaking 1.5 million New Yorkers showed up at the polls during the state primary, more than double the turnout for the 2014 primary. Though voter turnout rose from an anemic 9.3% to 27%, the surge highlighted the NYC Board of Elections was ill-equipped to handle high volume on election day. Voters faced long lines, broken machines, and barely controlled chaos at poll sites across the state.
- In October 2017, the NYCBOE admitted to breaking state and federal law when it purged nearly 200,000 voters from the rolls ahead of the presidential primary in April 2016. Ahead of the 2020 election, as part of the settlement, the NYCBOE agreed to adopt detailed procedures to ensure that eligible voters are not designated for removal in error, reinstate improperly removed voters, and produce monthly and annual reports identifying the voters who were removed from the rolls.
What you can do now: