Monday, September 21, 2009

Bloomberg Supports Voter Registration Modernization

Last week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg introduced “Easy to Vote, Easy to Run,” his new plan to modernize the registration and election system.

Though many of the plan’s proposals might seem far-fetched, some are very simple and easily implemented. Some highlights include:

− A “Democracy Index,” which will measure the effectiveness and preparedness of election administration in different areas of the city. Metrics will include: registration, length of lines at the polls and how long it takes for votes to get counted.

311: New York City’s new Official Voting Hotline – where city residents can get all of their voting questions and concerns taken care of: “Where do I go?” “How do I get an absentee ballot?” and “I was a victim of voter fraud!”

Support for National Voter Registration Modernization, which would help boost voter participation and cut down on administrative costs.

Support for Weekend Voting, an initiative sponsored by Reps Herb Kohl (WI) and Steve Israel (NY), which would change voting day from Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, Bloomberg’s proposal would also make it easier for everyday Americans to run for office by:

− Lowering the number of signatures required to get a spot on the ballot

− Opening up the petitioning process so that Independent voters can nominate candidates of their own via the petitioning process.

Many of these proposals are quite vast in scope, but efforts like these show that our politicians are well aware of the problems with the current electoral system and are doing their best to correct it.

Many of you are well aware of our own staunch beliefs in support of Voter Registration Modernization (VRM). Over the next few years, we hope to work alongside other like-minded organizations to raise awareness for this cause and build the infrastructure and legislation needed to make sure every vote counts.