An executive order has been issued in New York State to increase the number of people registered to vote. Governor Cuomo has given directives in three separate areas.
First, all state agencies are directed to have voter registration forms available. Currently, the forms are only available through the Department of Motor Vehicles along with some social services.
Also, all state agencies are directed to send registration forms electronically or by mail to people whose contact information they have. All state agencies will have to be prepared to help people fill out the forms.
The second area affected by the executive order are SUNY schools. An investigation will take place on each campus regarding voter registration practices.
State law already requires SUNY schools to provide students with voter registration forms at the beginning of each school year, and in January when it is a presidential election year. Federal law requires schools to assist students with registering. However, recent data shows voter registration rates at SUNY schools lag behind other public colleges nationwide.
The third part of the executive order is to increase awareness of the online voter registration resources offered by the DMV. A task force has been established to expand online voting registration.
Governor Cuomo says these steps are meant to help combat low voter participation across New York amid news that the federal government is considering actions to restrict voter access.