About Fair Elections for New York

New Yorkers deserve a responsive, accountable government. Voter turnout in New York is among the lowest in the nation, due in part to antiquated procedures for registration and voting that discourage participation. And our campaign finance system favors the wealthy over everyday, working New Yorkers. To tackle the crises we face in housing, living wage jobs, criminal justice, affordable health care, transportation, climate, fair taxes, and more, we must transform a campaign finance system that advantages the interests of the few over those of the many.

The shift in power in the New York State Senate—and a Governor and an Assembly prioritizing democratic reforms—presents an unprecedented opportunity to unrig the rules, strengthen our democracy, and incentivize elected officials to represent the values of the people of the state. A broad coalition of individuals and groups across New York is coming together to ensure that an overhaul of New York’s voting and campaign finance systems is the first order of business in the 2019 New York Legislature. This Fair Elections reform package would:

  • Increase the power of small donations. It is critical we implement a small donor matching system for state elections, including District Attorneys, like the successful programs in New York City and Connecticut. This gives everyday people the means to run for office and represent their communities relying on small donations instead of large checks. After the Supreme Court allowed unlimited, secret money to flow into our elections, small donor matching funds remains the most powerful way to combat the influence of big money. By matching small dollar donations 6-to-1, we can amplify the voices of women; of people of color; of the working and middle classes; and of any and all under-represented New Yorkers in the political process. Adequate enforcement as well as robust candidate support services would ensure the matching funds program runs smoothly.
  • Limit the influence of big money. The very wealthy and corporations shouldn’t be allowed to buy elections. We can put a check on their outsize influence by closing the “LLC loophole,” which allows mega donors to funnel limitless amounts to candidates, and by reducing New York’s unusually high contribution limits, among other improvements.
  • Make it easier, not harder, to voteMaking it easier, not harder, to vote. Including but not limited to automatic voter registration, early voting, same day registration, online voter registration, no excuse absentee voting, new party enrollment deadlines, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, full voting access for people with disabilities, and codify into law New York’s new policy to extend voting rights to all New Yorkers with past convictions.

Groups supporting the campaign include 32BJ SEIU, Bend the Arc, Brennan Center for Justice, Buffalo Democratic Socialists of America, Campaign for New York Health, Citizen Action New York, Community Voices Heard, CWA District 1, Democracy Matters, Democracy Initiative, Demos, End Citizens United, Every Voice, Four Freedoms Democratic Club, Human Works, Inc., Human Services Council, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS, Long Island Civic Engagement Table, Long Island Jobs with Justice, Long Island Network for Chance, Long Island Progressive Coalition, Long Island Together, Make the Road New York, MAYDAY America, Metro New York Health Care for All, Muslims For Progress, New York Communities for Change, New York Immigration Coalition, New York State Council of Churches, Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, NYS Nurses Association (NYSNA), People Power Patchogue, Public Citizen, Reinvent Albany, Strong Economy For All Coalition, Suffolk Progressives, Sunrise NYC, Uptown Progressive Action, and Working Families Party.

New Yorkers deserve a responsive, accountable government. Voter turnout in New York is among the lowest in the nation, due in part to antiquated procedures for registration and voting that discourage participation. And our campaign finance system favors the wealthy over everyday, working New Yorkers. To tackle the crises we face in housing, living wage jobs, criminal justice, affordable health care, transportation, climate, fair taxes, and more, we must transform a campaign finance system that advantages the interests of the few over those of the many.

Get In Touch

New Yorkers deserve a responsive, accountable government. Voter turnout in New York is among the lowest in the nation, due in part to antiquated procedures for registration and voting that discourage participation. And our campaign finance system favors the wealthy over everyday, working New Yorkers. To tackle the crises we face in housing, living wage jobs, criminal justice, affordable health care, transportation, climate, fair taxes, and more, we must transform a campaign finance system that advantages the interests of the few over those of the many.

Get In Touch