Statement from Unite NY on Proposed Changes to New York Local Elections

Albany, NY – Unite NY, a nonpartisan organization focused on engaging and empowering voters to allow for more voices and more choices, issued the following statement from Executive Director Tim Dunn on legislation currently being considered in the New York State Legislature that would move local elections to even years.

“As an organization focused on increasing voter participation and providing more choices to more voices, Unite NY welcomes any efforts to reform our electoral system and get more voters involved in the process. The sponsors of this legislation are certainly seeking to fix the right problem, but they have not offered the right solution. This bill, introduced in the last 24 hours of the session, will act like a sugary energy drink to temporarily wake up turnout in local elections. Unfortunately, it will also drag highly polarized state and national issues into local elections that should be focused on local issues.”

“Unite NY applauds the intentions of the sponsors and would welcome a holistic discussion on electoral reform, one that includes changes we know New York voters support, such as term limits, open primaries, increased ballot access, initiative, and referendum and ranked-choice voting.”

Dunn continued, “Electoral reform is such an important issue it deserves hearings, robust public discussion, and solutions that build consensus across the political spectrum. Passing a little-discussed bill in the dead of night after six months of little to no discussion of electoral reforms is simply not the answer. It only leads to more polarization and distrust voters have in our broken system.”

About Unite NY

Unite NY is a movement focused on engaging and empowering voters on important issues of reform that will allow for more voices and more choices, and, ultimately, more democracy. The membership organization seeks a more fair, open, and representative democracy that results in the voice of voters being heard by evolving the electoral system so that officials put what more voters want ahead of party interests. Learn more at www.UniteNY.org.