September's primary is just around the corner. If you haven't registered to vote yet, time is running out. But the process of registering just got easier. Capital Tonight’s Nick Reisman explains.
NEW YORK STATE -- Voters with driver’s licenses or non-driver IDs can now register online with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It's a move that's aimed at both expanding registered voters and saving the state money.
“It's going to make it much easier for voters to register and that's always a good thing because we believe in democracy and two, it's going to save money by making our process more efficient and more cost-effective,” said Mylan Denerstein, Counsel to the Governor.
Cuomo administration officials expect that once the online registration program is fully up and running, it will save up to $270,000 a year. Voters can register or change their voter registration information online now at https://my.dmv.ny.gov. County boards of election must receive software changes before the program can be completely in place.
“The DMV and the Board Elections, we're going to work with them to make sure it's seamless,” said Jeremy Creelan, Special Counsel to the Governor.
The announcement came as the DMV also plans to make its driver license application available online as well. Good-government advocates applauded the move in part because the old paper process of registering to vote at the DMV is prone to human error.
“This eliminates that middleman and allows the voter to do this online,” said Barbara Bartoletti, League of Women Voters Legislative Director.
New York is ranked 47th in the nation in voter registration, with less than 64 percent of eligible residents registered. It's a stat that state officials hope will change now that registering to vote is a little easier.
Creelan said, “There's only one way to go in New York State in terms of voter registration rates and that is up. So we expect this will be a critical piece to that effort to increase the voter registration rate.”
Registration must be postmarked by midnight August 17 for voters who wish to take part in the September 13 state and local primaries. Voters must be enrolled in a party in order to vote in a primary election.