Common Cause/NY Applauds Senate For Passing Vote by Mail, Assembly Advances the Bill

On June 8th, the New York State Senate passed the New York Early Mail Voter Act, which establishes a vote by mail system in New York. The Assembly is currently advancing the bill. In response, Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, put out the following statement:

“Common Cause/NY applauds the New York State Senate for passing this hugely important pro-voter reform that will establish a universal vote by mail system, and we’re encouraged to see the Assembly advancing the bill as well. Allowing New Yorkers to vote by mail increases voter turnout in harder to reach populations, including young people and voters of color. We know vote by mail works: New York did it successfully in 2020 when faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a non-partisan, voting rights organization with decades of experience, Common Cause/NY knows that not only is this absolutely legal under our constitution, but the right thing to do.”


This bill would set up a universal Voter by Mail system that would be available to any and all registered voters. Voters would request a mail ballot either online or through a paper

application. The voter will be required to provide the information necessary to ensure that they are an eligible, registered voter. The application will allow the voter to request that they receive mail ballots for all elections that year. A voter can request a mail ballot up to and including 10 days before the election in which they want to vote by mail. The boards of elections must include a postage pre-paid return envelope with the mail ballot sent to the voter. The mail ballot must be mailed no later than election day and received by the board of elections no later than 7 days after election day.

New York is following the example of Pennsylvania & Massachusetts, which have recently adopted vote by mail systems that are different from their absentee voting system. Both states’ constitutions have language that is virtually identical to the language in Article II, section 7 of New York’s constitution that allows for vote by mail.