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CDNY Announces Support for the Voter Empowerment Act

Albany, NY -- The College Democrats of New York are proud to announce their support of the Voter Empowerment Act, a nonpartisan initiative to increase voter participation in the 2012 election season. According to the Brennen Center for Justice, this legislation would call for an update to the current voter registration process in New York, streamlining the process and making it more efficient. The Voter Empowerment Act will, with the consent of the citizen, automatically register residents of New York to vote when they interact with specific government agencies. Additionally, registration information will be automatically updated through continued interaction with these government agencies. The system will be brought up to date through the computerization of the entire registration process. This will help to reduce typographical and clerical errors that come with hand-written registration documents, making it easier for eligible voters to register and vote.

While this is excellent news for the future of American democracy in general, it is especially exciting for the registration and involvement of young Americans in the democratic process. More specifically, this legislation will allow 16 and 17 year-olds to pre-register in advance of their 18th birthday. It will ease the process of voter registration drives held on college campuses in the state of New York, as eligible voters will be able to register online. Additionally, given that reregistration is required with every change of address, the transient nature of college living situations has furthered the difficulty of the registration of college students. This act will allow New Yorkers to automatically transfer their registration when their residence changes.

Modeled after the Voter Empowerment Act introduced in the United States House of Representatives, the Voter Empowerment Act of New York would be the most comprehensive state plan implemented to date.