Struggling to reach a polling station on primary election day might be a thing of the past according to a bill being introduced before the City Council today.
City Council member Mark Treyger (D-Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Gravesend) will introduce a new bill that will suspend alternate side parking during primary election days.
The new measure aims to increase civic engagement at the primary level, which has a history of very low voter turnout. In 2013, for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first Democratic primary, only 20 percent of all New York city residents went to the polls and only 3 percent voted for the Mayor on the democratic ticket, according to a New York Times article.
“It has never been more important for New Yorkers to be actively engaged in the civic process. Yet our city’s voter turnout numbers – particularly in primary elections – are disappointing, dismal and unacceptable,” said Treyger.
Then in 2017, de Blasio received the lowest amount of votes getting just 21.7% of the city’s 5 million registered voters support, according to reports.
Many critics believe the lack of voter turnout is due to a host of reasons including polling stations being poorly sited and citizens having lost the notion that voting influences what happens in their lives.
Most recently, Assemblyman Robert Carroll (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) and Jo Anne Simon (D-Downtown Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill) have been strongly advocating for passage of the Young Voter Act in a bid to increase voting awareness and voting numbers. The bill would lower the voting age to 17 for state and local elections (A.6839/A.6840).
The pair believe that starting civic education and good voter habits early in a person’s life can lead to better voter awareness and attendance in the future.
“We need to remove as many hurdles as possible that prevent voters from showing up to polling sites. I’m proud to introduce this common-sense legislation that will empower New Yorkers to fulfill their civic duty by making voting on primary days easier and more accessible for our working families,” added Treyger.