Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NY Bill to Fine Non-Voters

A New York State Lawmaker from Manhattan wants to make it costly for New Yorkers not to Vote.

Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick (D-66th District), introduced Legislation this week that would establish “Compulsory Voting” in the State and punish those who don’t Vote with a $10 Fine. “Mandatory voting would drastically increase civic participation and transform the political arena by making politicians more reflective of the constituents that elected them,” Glick wrote in a memo submitted with the Bill.

Under Glick’s bill, any eligible Voter who fails to Vote would be hit with the $10 fine unless they have a “valid Excuse” why they couldn’t do so. The legislation does not specify what constitutes a Valid Excuse.

AG Schneiderman says Voter Fraud is a 'non-issue' in New York

Any Fines collected would be used to improve the Electoral Process, the memo stated.

Glick’s Bill drew prompt scorn from Senate Elections Committee Chairman Fred Akshar (R-Binghamton), who gave it little chance of ever being enacted. “Last time I checked, this was the United States of America and people have the right to vote or not to vote,” Akshar said. Akshar said Glick’s Bill represented a “regressive policy that would hurt the poor and those on fixed incomes.”

Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative Director of the New York State League of Women Voters, was also critical of the Bill. “I doubt that we would support penalizing people who don't vote,” Bartoletti said. “Often, it is a silent protest on their part to not vote.”

In the memo submitted with the Bill, Glick argued her Bill would combat New York’s continuing problems with Low Voter Turnout. She noted that Australia has a similar Compulsory Voting system and has seen turnouts of 90% or more. Some South American Countries also have Compulsory Voting but allow Voters 65 or older to OPT-Out.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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