Community Organizations Across NY Urge Voters to Vote YES on Voting Rights and Redistricting Ballot Questions

Make the Road New York
3 min readJul 28, 2021


July 28, 2021

Progressive community organizations across New York engage hundreds of thousands of voters each year.

On November 2nd, as voters across the state head to the polls for important municipal elections, they will also have the opportunity to vote on ballot questions that will improve the state’s voting rights and redistricting process. As community organizations working year-round to increase civic engagement in our communities and representing hundreds of thousands of immigrant, Black, brown, people with disabilities and working-class New Yorkers, we urge voters to vote “yes” on those ballot questions.

In the face of attacks on voting rights and the Census in recent years, as well as a global pandemic that presented new challenges for making sure that voters can safely cast their ballots, New York legislators have taken concerted action to safeguard our democracy. The state legislature has wisely passed legislation to adopt same-day voter registration, no-fault absentee voting, and redistricting reform. Because all of these changes require a change to the state constitution, these reforms had to pass the legislature twice (which they did handily) and will now go before the voters in November. We urge voters to support all three measures for the following reasons:

Same-day voter registration: this critical voting rights policy will ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast their ballots. Many voters only start paying attention to elections, or only become aware of problems with their registration status, just before Election Day. Same-day voter registration will ensure those voters can cast their ballots.

No-fault absentee voting: as we have seen during the pandemic, absentee voting provides a crucial opportunity for voters who are not able to get to the polls to cast their ballots. This has been particularly true during a health emergency, but it’s true in every election — there are many New Yorkers who struggle to get to the polls, or who simply prefer to cast their ballots by mail. Permanently adopting no-fault absentee voting will remove a barrier for these voters.

Redistricting reform: the redistricting reform passed by the legislature includes several important provisions that will improve the process, including requiring that incarcerated persons be counted at the place of their last residence for redistricting; requiring the state to count New York residents, not just citizens, should the federal census fail to do so; removing the block-on-border requirement for Senate districts; capping the number of state senators at 63; moving up the timeline for redistricting and repeal inoperative language; and eliminating the differential vote thresholds for adopting redistricting plans based on which party controls the legislature. These measures will clarify and improve the redistricting process this year, when Census data have been delayed due to the prior federal administration’s bungling, and in the future.

If passed, these ballot initiatives will allow New York to expand voting rights and to improve and clarify its redistricting process. It will also ensure that all residents, including those who are incarcerated and those who are not yet citizens, are counted. While the state remains far from the gold standard of a nonpartisan redistricting process — for which we will continue to advocate in advance of the next decennial census — this is a step in the right direction.


Make the Road New York

New York Civic Engagement Table

Common Cause New York


Citizen Action of New York

Community Voices Heard

Strong Economy for All Coalition

Churches United for Fair Housing

Alliance for Quality Education

Empire State Indivisible

Indivisible Upper East Side

Long Island Activists

NY Indivisible

Let’s Visit Lee Zeldin

IndivisibleWeStand UWS

Long Islanders for Gun Safety

Long Island Civic Engagement Table

Elmont Cultural Center

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

Jews for Racial & Economic Justice

Indivisible Nation BK

Indivisible Patriots of Long Island

New York Communities for Change

PEER/Suffolk County

New Reformers

East End Action Network

Brooklyn Voters Alliance

Hand in Hand: Domestic Employers Network

Bay Shore Babylon Women’s Huddle

Open Buffalo

SEPA Mujer

To Do List, An Indivisible Chapter

VOICE Buffalo

Indivisible Brooklyn

Center for Popular Democracy

New York Working Families Party

PUSH Buffalo

NY02 Indivisible

Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson

Women Creating Change

Community Votes

Rise and Resist

Inwood Indivisible

Indivisible Activate NYC

Sustainable Port Chester Alliance

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center

East Bronx Indivisible

Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY

Downtown East for Progress

Central Queens Redistricting Coalition