Albany reps must support election reform

I spent Nov. 6 as a poll watcher at the Parkway Recreation Center. Thousands of people came and went that day, ready to meet the most basic obligation of citizenship: to vote for their elected representatives.

But far too many were not embraced by the system. Many who came had every right to vote, but voting was made into a hassle for them. The poll workers were undertrained, understaffed and overworked. I would happily be a poll watcher again, but what we need is a system in which no one has to be trained to be a poll watcher, where everyone who has a right to vote gets to vote.

So, I call on Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon and state Sen. Joe Griffo to support fair election reforms in New York state. We need to get big money out of our elections. We need automatic or same-day voter registration, Early voting, and better funded boards of election. We need to make sure that every citizen gets to vote, whether they have been to prison or not, whether they are disabled or not, whether their employers give them time off or not.

We need to make this into a real, thriving democracy, where voting is easily accessed by every citizen.

Celeste Friend, Citizen Action, Utica