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New Yorkers vote against a potential expansion of ballot access for the state

Voters fill in their ballots at a polling place in New York City on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig
Voters fill in their ballots at a polling place in New York City on Tuesday.

Updated November 3, 2021 at 10:54 PM ET

New York voters soundly rejected constitutional amendments that would have allowed for same-day voter registration and universal absentee voting in future elections.

The Associated Press called the ballot measure contests on Wednesday evening.

If approved, the proposals would have removed language in the state constitution that currently prevents no-excuse absentee voting and same-day registration, allowing lawmakers to then expand ballot access.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C., offer same-day, or Election Day, registration. Dozens of states, including many that are more conservative than Democratic-leaning New York, offer no-excuse absentee voting.

The ballot results in New York come amid strong performances by Republicans in Tuesday's elections.

New York's Proposal 1, which would have enacted a laundry list of changes to the state redistricting process, was also rejected by voters.

In the weeks leading up to the election, the New York Republican Party mounted an aggressive statewide campaign aimed at convincing voters to opposed the voting and redistricting proposals. Despite launching just two weeks before the election, that effort appears to have been hugely successful in an off-year election with low turnout.

Susan Lerner of Common Cause New York, which had supported the proposed amendments, called the result a "black eye for democracy" in a written statement.

State GOP Chair Nick Langworthy said that Democrats overreached, and voters responded with "common sense."

"All three resoundingly defeated," he said. "People of all party affiliations voted to keep fair and honest elections in this state."

Langworthy says he was also surprised that Democratic leaders did not advocate for the measures.

Copyright 2021 NCPR

Ryan Finnerty