New York Voting Reform Victory
On Monday Anthony Beckford along with Let NY Vote, Make The Road New York, Brooklyn's Voters Alliance, 32BJSEIU, CWA and TWU went up to Albany to make sure that the New York State Senate and New York State Assembly passed the Voting Reform Bills that they have been advocating for. An historic moment was made with the passing of various bills on Monday. The are listed below:
Closing The LLC Loophole
An act to amend the election law, in relation to political contributions
Under current election law as interpreted by the State Board of Elections, individuals and corporations can make unlimited contributions to the same candidate, political party or campaign committee by creating multiple limited liability companies (LLCs). Each LLC is treated as an individual donor, even if multiple LLCs are owned by the same person or entity, which makes it harder to determine the real contributor and allows them to evade campaign contribution limits. The Assembly's measure would extend the $5,000 aggregate contribution limit, already applicable to corporations, to include LLCs, and require LLCs to disclose the names of individuals with members hip interests, attributing LLC contributions to them in proportion to such membership interest.
An act to amend the election law, in relation to early voting
Legislation that would establish early voting in New York State, which would take place during a nine-day period before any general, primary, run-off primary or special election. During the early voting period, polling locations would be required to be open for eight hours on weekdays and five hours on weekends and holidays, and to offer evening hours on at least two days. County boards of elections would have the option of providing additional early voting hours and would be required to publicize to voters the location, dates and hours of all early voting polling places within each county.
Combining the state and federal primaries
Legislation to consolidate the state's election calendar by combining the state and federal primary election dates to the fourth Tuesday in June. This would save taxpayers an estimated $25 million; reduce the burden on county boards of elections and keep New York State compliant with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.
No Excuse Absentee Voting
Authorizing ballot by mail by removing cause for absentee ballot voting
To increase access to mail-in ballots at home, the legislative package includes a bill that would amend the New York State Constitution to allow any citizen to receive an absentee ballot upon request - no questions asked. Under current law, residents can only receive absentee ballots if they expect to be absent from the county on the day of the election, or if they have an illness or physical disability. The amendment must be passed by both the Assembly and Senate in consecutive legislative terms before it goes before voters as a ballot referendum.
Voter Registration Transfers
Instructing the boards of elections to automatically transfer voter enrollment for New Yorkers who move from one county to another.
To encourage young people to vote and become civically engaged, the legislative package includes a measure that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.
A Word From Anthony Beckford:
Although many good Voting Reform biils have been passed by both the Democratic Controlled Senate and Assembly, there are two legislative pieces that must be passed:
1) We must have draft a bill that focuses on allowing incarcerated and formerly incarcerated residents to have the Right to Vote. It is time that we abolish the Jim Crow Era policies and stop the disenfranchisement of Black and Brown people.
2) We must make sure that we get Senator Mertzger's Bill that will fully close the LLC Loophole by banning all corporate funding for campaigns put of the Election Committee and passed by the Senate.
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- Anthony Beckford is a member of various Democratic and Progressive groups such as; Democratic Socialists, Ernest Skinner Political Association, Brooklyn Young Democrats, Black Caucus of the Green Party, New Kings Democrats, Muslim Democratic Club of New York, NYPAN, BPAN, CBID, Lambda Independent Democrats, Brooklyn Progressive Alliance, JFREJ, Our Revolution, Obama Foundation's "My Brother's Keeper" and many others.
Anthony Beckford is the leader that the community can always depend on to help fight for their rights and to continue to protect the community.