JP Updates NYC Councilman Kallos Pushes Bill to Streamline Voter Registration Process by Boruch Shubert

JP Updates
JP Updates
NYC Councilman Kallos Pushes Bill to Streamline Voter Registration Process
Boruch Shubert
11/12/2014

Ben KallosA new bill set to be introduced in the New York City Council this week would allow voters to register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot simultaneously.

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) – who serves as Deputy Chair of the Council’s Jewish Caucus – will sponsor the measure, which is intended to streamline what is currently a slow process.

“Voters don’t actually plan their lives around Election Day,” Kallos said to the Daily News. “This is a transient city where people are moving to where affordable housing is. And this would help a huge group of voters to be able to register and get an absentee ballot.”

As the system now stands, a voter who is registering for the first time or changing their home address has to mail in a form to the Board of Elections, and then wait to receive a confirmation. It is only afterwards that the applicant may request an absentee ballot, and then they have to go through another waiting period until it arrives in the mail.

According to Kallos, many people in this situation don’t start the process early enough in advance of an upcoming election, and they have wound up missing the opportunity to vote. “This legislation would have helped so many of those people,” the council member said.

Issue: 
Elections