Government watchdog groups and community-based organizations launched a statewide petition campaign to "modernize elections in New York" with a lower Manhattan rally on Tuesday -- an Election Day expected to have low voter turnout in New York City due to the lack of high-profile races.

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The petition calls on Albany lawmakers to pass measures ensuring every eligible voter is registered and creating a ballot that is easier to read and understand. Speakers in Foley Square described difficulties in their voting experiences.

The "Vote Better NY" coalition -- which includes the NYC Votes outreach effort of the city's Campaign Finance Board, good government group Citizens Union, and the New York Public Interest Research Group -- also called for the establishment an early-voting system to give New Yorkers two weeks, including weekends, to cast their ballots.