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City and U.S. Senators Announce Registration Plan Using Franking

October 5, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ The city announced plans on Sunday for one of the largest voter registration drives in its history, using congressional franking privileges to mail registration forms to an estimated 5 million eligible voters.

Mayor Edward I. Koch, appearing at a news conference alongside Sens. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Alfonse D’Amato, said the goal is to add 2 million voters to the 3 million people already registered in the city.

The registration drive will begin soon after the Nov. 3 election, with the aim of expanding the number of voters in time for the 1988 presidential election.

In the 1984 presidential election, 62 percent of eligible voters in New York City were registered.

Moynihan, D-N.Y., and D’Amato, R-N.Y., said they would use their franking privileges - which allow members of Congress to send mail without postage - to send the voter registration forms to every household in the city.

Koch said he believed it would mark the first time in the nation’s history that franking has been used for such a purpose.

Representatives of labor unions, supermarkets and bodegas said they also would join in the voter registration drive.

D’Amato said he and Moynihan would spend a total of $300,000 out of their senatorial allowances to mail the registration forms. The state will spend $150,000 to print the forms, and the city will spend $500,000 on postage for the registration forms that are returned.

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