I did a little digging myself and, up until July 2019, New York State was one of only 13 states that did not allow early voting. (This changes in 2020.) Only 57 percent of eligible voters in New York State cast a ballot in the 2016 presidential election, ranking the Empire State 41st in the nation for turnout. In the last midterm election, turnout statewide hit an abysmal 34 percent, almost the lowest in the country.
The problem isn’t energy or enthusiasm: New Yorkers are as tuned into politics as anyone. The problem is the system. Politicians seeking to protect their incumbency have little motivation to change these archaic rules. We have seen what happens when people don’t vote, or are unable to get to the polls.
But it is not enough to simply implore people to vote. We need voter laws for all the people. We need to get rid of the dysfunctional politicians who won’t make it their mission to fix this.
Let’s begin by allowing absentee ballots in this next coming vote for East Quogue’s future.
Until voter laws are changed, we all need to put a reminder in our phones, calendars and dashboard Post-Its that read: Vote! Tuesday, November 5.
Mindy ReyerEast Quogue
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