Voter Turnout in the 2018 Midterms: A Closer Look

In the 2018 midterm elections, voter turnout among New Yorkers rose significantly for the first time since 2002, and voters turned out in record-breaking numbers for one of the most exciting midterm elections in recent memory.

To learn more about the 2018 elections and what turnout looked like throughout New York City, take a look at our recent Voter Analysis Report, as well as the write-up we got in the Gotham Gazette!   

In today’s post, we’ll take a closer look at the demographic characteristics that influenced voter turnout (both positively and negatively) at the neighborhood level. We used Neighborhood Tabulation Areas (NTAs) in our analysis, which are boundaries created by the Department of City Planning. To learn more about NTAs, visit the Department of City Planning's website here.

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How We Can Make Sure Early Voting Works for New Yorkers

Have you heard? New Yorkers are getting early voting soon! Starting this fall, you'll be able to cast your vote ahead of Election Day at a time that's convenient for you, including on the weekends. But in order to make sure that this reform is implemented in a way that make sense for the millions of busy voters across New York City, we've made a list of recommendations for the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) to consider. We'll be sending the BOE's commissioners the letter below, and we want to get your take! Let us know what you think of these recommendations in the comments below. 

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Another Way to Vote: Instant Runoff Voting in New York City Elections

You may have heard of instant runoff voting (or ranked choice voting, as it’s sometimes called) before, but what you might not know is that our city government is considering adopting this method of voting.


The 2019 Charter Revision Commission (CRC) has a mandate to review the City Charter and will soon be provide recommendations to the public for how we can improve the Charter this November. As the CRC prepares its preliminary report, which is set to be released next Monday, April 22nd, members are taking the benefits of instant runoff voting (IRV) into consideration. So let’s get into it!

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Making Voting Better: Registration Edition

Did you know that there are over 750,000 eligible citizens in New York State who are not registered to vote?

While new legislation has recently been adopted to make registering to vote easier for New Yorkers, there are additional steps our state can take to ensure all citizens have the opportunity to register and vote. Read on to learn more about how voter registration could be faster, more streamlined, and accessible.

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Why Public Financing of Elections Is Good for Democracy

Yesterday, we went up to Albany to talk about our work administering New York City’s landmark matching funds program, which helps more candidates from all walks of life run for office and lead competitive campaigns that are more responsive to the needs and voices of their constituents.

Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Click here to read our testimony, delivered by Frederick Schaffer, our Board Chair, and read on to learn more about how public financing could change what our democracy looks like at the state level!

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Making Voting Better: At the Polls Edition

New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the country, and it's time our voting laws reflected the diversity of the voting population.

Credit: Christopher Collins 

Earlier this year, we finally saw a host of long-overdue voting reforms signed into law, including early voting, consolidating primary election dates, automatically updating a voter’s registration when they move anywhere within New York State, and allowing 16- and 17- year olds to pre-register to vote. While these reforms will improve the election process as a whole, today we’re going to talk about reforms that we still need to implement in order to make the Election Day experience better for everyone!

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Why New York Needs to Change the Party Enrollment Deadline

Did you know that New York is currently the only state that prohibits voters from changing their party enrollment during the year of an election?

That means that if you want to be able to vote in a primary election but you’re not currently enrolled in a party, you would have had to update your party enrollment status months in advance. Learn more about why having such an early party enrollment deadline prevents voters from participating.

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Who Gets to Vote? On Race and Language Access in New York

Most of us wouldn’t hesitate to call New York City one of the most diverse and progressive cities in the country. But when it comes to voting rights and making sure that communities of color and other marginalized voters in our state have access to the ballot box, we’ve still got a long way to go.

This Black History Month, as we consider the state of voting rights in New York, it’s important to note that voting better isn’t just about convenience. It’s about addressing systemic barriers that disproportionately affect low-income communities, communities of color, and immigrants. The right to vote and have a say in our democracy is one of our most important rights. Shouldn’t we do more as a state to make sure as many eligible New Yorkers as possible have access to the ballot?   

Read on to learn more about two ways we can increase access to the ballot for these communities. 

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The Road to Longer-Term Voting Reforms for New York

Last week, Governor Cuomo signed a group of long-overdue voting reforms into law, which included establishing an early voting period, consolidating primary election dates, automatically updating a voter’s registration when they move anywhere within New York State, and allowing 16- and 17- year olds to pre-register to vote.

This was a major victory for voting rights in New York. But what you might not know is that the legislature also passed two additional bills that will provide no-excuse absentee voting and same-day voter registration.

While these reforms passed in both the Assembly and the Senate by an overwhelming majority, they also require an amendment to our State Constitution in order to become law. So, what does that mean for you as a voter?

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New York Passes Much-Needed Voting Reforms

On January 14th, New York lawmakers approved a group of voting reforms including establishing an early voting period, consolidating primary dates, automatically updating a voter’s registration when they move anywhere within New York State, and allowing 16- and 17- year olds to pre-register to vote. Today, Governor Cuomo signed these bills into law, signaling a transformation of election administration practices in New York State.

This is a major moment for voting rights in New York. Our state is consistently rated one of the lowest turnout states, ranking 41st in the country for voter turnout in 2016, but with the passage of these important reforms, it will now be easier for all eligible New Yorkers to participate in our elections. Read on to learn more about how these long overdue reforms will change how New Yorkers vote!

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