Today, a group of civil and voting rights organizations sent a letter urging New York Governor Kathy Hochul to sign the Election Alignment Bill which would move the timing of many local elections across the state to even-numbered years, on the same cycle as federal and state elections. As explained in the letter, New York State’s current practice of holding local elections “off-cycle” in odd years is both racially discriminatory and discriminatory against young voters. Off-cycle elections exacerbate racial and age disparities in political participation and lead to under-representation of voters of color and young voters in local governments across the state. The Election Alignment Bill provides a critical opportunity to shift many of the off-cycle elections that produce these discriminatory effects to even years, yielding more representative turnout. 

Read the full letter here.


Founded in 1940, the Legal Defense Fund (LDF) is the nation’s first civil rights law organization. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Please note that LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights.