ALBANY — Voters will decide five statewide propositions on the fall ballot that will impact voting, voters, the environment and more.

Proposal 1 would change how legislative and congressional district lines are drawn based on the 2020 U.S. Census. The proposal’s biggest change would count residents as voters even if they aren’t U.S. citizens when calculating the number of people in an election district. The proposal also would include incarcerated people in the count of districts based on their last home address, rather than the prison or jail to which they have been sentenced. It also would make changes in how redistricting would be conducted, such as requiring a new redistricting plan be approved by at least seven of 10 members of the Redistricting Commission. If the commission fails to agree on a plan, the State Legislature would have to approve a plan by a 60% vote of senators and Assembly members.

Proposal 2 would change the state constitution to "establish the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment." If approved, this amendment could be used in court arguments seeking to block some public or private development and could be used to end the practice of locating incinerators and other polluters in low-income neighborhoods.

Proposal 3 would delete the constitutional requirement that a New Yorker be registered to vote at least 10 days before an election in which he or she wants to vote. The proposal would pave the way for the State Legislature to reduce the time between registering and voting, including allowing people to register to vote the same day they cast a ballot.

Proposal 4 would allow what’s been called no-excuse absentee voting. The constitutional change would allow a voter to choose to use a mailed-in absentee ballot without needing to cite a reason why he or she can’t go to the polls. The measure would codify a practice that was done temporarily last year to avoid crowds at polling places during the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposal 5 would raise the threshold for cases heard in New York City’s Civil Court. The constitutional change would allow cases of claims up to $50,000, doubling the current limit of $25,000. The Civil Court handles disputes between landlords and tenants involving maintenance of housing standards as well as small lawsuits in which a plaintiff seeks compensation. The proposal would allow more cases to be heard in Civil Court and ease the workload in state Supreme Court.

Editor's note --- An earlier version of this story did not fully explain the process that would allow State Legislature to approve a redistricting plan by a 60% vote.

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