Oct. 3, 2019 By Allie Griffin
New York voters now have more time to register to vote in primary elections, thanks to legislation Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week.
Under the new law, New Yorkers have an extra four months to register with or change political parties, from the previous deadline of Oct. 11 to the new deadline of Feb. 14.
Voters must register with a political party in order to vote in next April’s presidential primaries and next June’s state and congressional primaries. Previously, voters who didn’t pick a party affiliation by the Oct. 11 deadline were prohibited from voting in primaries.
Cuomo signed the legislation on Sept. 26, after facing backlash from fellow Democrats.
The October deadline had been highly criticized by other Democrats, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the local Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, who called it “the most restrictive in the nation.”
“While the federal administration continues to look for new ways to disenfranchise voters across the country, in New York we are making monumental changes to break down more barriers to the ballot box and encourage more people to exercise this fundamental right,” Governor Cuomo said.
According to the New York Daily News, the bill was passed in June and Cuomo promised to sign it into law, but it languished over the summer.
“With the change we’re enacting today, we’re significantly diminishing an obstacle that has prevented many New Yorkers from joining the party of their choice and participating in our primary elections,” State Senator Brian Kavanagh said.
“Having worked to reform our extremely restrictive party enrollment law for about a decade, I’m gratified that we’re able to add this voter friendly reform to the many we have already enacted this year to protect and expand the right to vote and bring New York’s election laws on par with the best in the country,” he added.
To register or check voting status, click here