Letter: New York can do more to encourage voter participation

Legislative Gazette file photo

To the editor:

Early voting has started in the Congressional primary contests. Voter turnout is expected to be very light. New York state could do more to encourage more voter participation in all contested elections.

I suggest that New York state does what was done during the height of the pandemic — send everyone an automatic absentee ballot request that could be returned in a postage paid envelope. New York state should encourage people to vote by mail — even when a person is in town. Mailing in a ballot to the Board of Elections should not cost the voter a penny.

In addition, New York state should place absentee/mail ballot drop boxes in every municipal building, fire house, library, and park. Although New York now allows voting 10 days before Election Day, the locations are not convenient for everyone. And, voter turnout in our area continues to be poor in most elections.

In 2021 the state of Georgia reduced ballot drop box access in places that used them the most. The action received national attention and criticism. The state leaders were condemned for taking action to discourage voter access. Georgia still has drop boxes. In Westchester and in much of New York state there are none.  And our state is supposed to be progressive.

Having drop boxes at numerous locations during election time would encourage more voter participation. And decrease the travel time for those who vote. During the pandemic drop boxes were used across the nation to encourage voters to vote safely. Even before the pandemic they were popular for voters.

The upcoming congressional primaries probably will see a very low turnout. New York state could be doing much more to encourage voter participation.


Greenburgh Town Supervisor