For Immediate Release: March 28, 2019
NEW POLL SHOWS HUGE SUPPORT STATEWIDE FOR PUBLIC FINANCING OF ELECTIONS
Voters In Every Region of the State Less Likely To Support Legislators and the Governor If They Don’t Pass Public Financing in the Budget
“No More Excuses” Says 200+ Group Campaign
Albany, NY – With few days remaining before New York will decide whether to include a public financing system with a small dollar match in the state budget on April 1, the Fair Elections for New York campaign today released a statewide poll of 625 New York State voters. With the budget coming down to the wire, New Yorkers not only support Fair Elections (78 – 15%), they are also less likely to support their Legislator (59 – 17%) and the Governor (63 – 13%) if they do not include Fair Elections in the budget.The support extends to Trump voters (62 – 27% support for fair elections), as well as across the state. Support is strong in Long Island (81-10%), in the Hudson Valley (80-11), Upstate New York (77-18%) and New York City (77-17%).
“There’s no excuse for more stalling,” said Javier Valdés, co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. “Voters across the state agree – now is the time to give every day New Yorkers a voice in the political process by passing Fair Elections.”
The over 200 groups that make up the Fair Elections for New York coalition have been calling on Governor Cuomo to demonstrate his commitment to public financing of elections — described by the New York Times editorial board “the best way to clean up New York’s state capital” — by using his extraordinary budget powers to pass a small donor matching program in the state budget. They also urged the Senate to refuse to accept a budget without the important reform.
All three leaders would have to agree for the Governor’s Fair Elections proposal to come out of the budget, a fact the Coalition says should not be lost on New Yorkers. Yet one person, Governor Cuomo, perhaps the most forceful voice in support of Fair Elections to date, has unique and extraordinary budget powers.
Public Policy Polling surveyed 625 New York voters from March 27-28, 2019. The margin of error is +/- 3.9%. This poll was conducted by telephone. The full poll can be found here.
Fair Elections legislation is one of the top issues being debated as the Legislature and Governor finalize the state budget due on April 1.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie have all authored small donor matching systems proposals in the past that were consistently blocked by Republicans in the Senate. The Governor has once again included a small donor matching proposal in this year’s executive budget, and with supportive majorities now in control of both the Assembly and Senate, the path is clear to get the job done.
The Fair Elections for New York campaign includes over 200 community, labor, tenant, immigrant, racial justice, environment, faith, good government, and grassroots resistance organizations who are building momentum to pass comprehensive campaign finance reform, including small donor public financing, in this year’s budget.
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.