Bill Sponsored by Kallos Passes City Council

Ben Kallos Pioneers Online Voter Registration for New York City

Updated 2 years ago Peter McCarthy
Ben Kallos at the Tram 40th Anniversary in 2016
Ben Kallos at the Tram 40th Anniversary in 2016
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

"Across the country, Republicans are doing everything in their power to disenfranchise Americans, including putting up barriers to registering to vote. In New York City we are reversing this trend," said Fifth District Council Member Ben Kallos, a Reform Democrat who represents Roosevelt Island. "The City Council just passed my bill to allow New York City residents to register to vote online."

The measure, which conforms with a progressive ideal of getting more people to vote, does its work by making it easier.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, whose earlier opinion made Kallos's initiative possible, added, “The right to vote is the right that protects all other rights. Any law that makes it easier for New Yorkers to vote is a good law. Any law that makes it harder to vote is a bad law. Yet New York’s current voting system is an affront to the values of democracy on which this state was built. The bill sponsored by Councilman Kallos marks a key step forward in the fight for more accessible elections, allowing New York City to begin to bring our electoral process into the 21st century."

Kallos's bill comes on the heels of record low turnout in voters in this month's general election. The first term Council Member won by a landslide, but when few people vote, their message is less definitive.

“Democracy should be a click away. We are used to filling out forms online with the click of a mouse and voter registration should be no different. You should be registered and receive a confirmation by email, just as with any other website,” Kallos explained.

The next and final step in making the legislation law is Mayor Bill de Blasio's signature.

"Show your support for online voter registration by asking Mayor de Blasio to sign this bill into law, coaxes Kallos.

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