Gov. Andrew Cuomo is backing up his plan to institute early voting in New York by including it in his budget proposal. The governor’s 2018-19 executive budget, which was released Tuesday, would allow early voting and same-day voter registration. Before same-day voter registration is adopted, a constitutional amendment is required. It’s the second time Cuomo’s budget included the early voting proposal. Early voting was in the 2017-18 executive budget, but was not included in the final state budget agreement.
What Cuomo’s executive budget lacks is funding for the adoption of early voting. According to budget documents, it would cost counties $6.4 million to implement early voting.
Counties have expressed concern in the past that early voting would be another unfunded mandate.
New York is one of 13 states that lacks some form of early voting. Cuomo’s plan would change that be requiring counties to offer at least one early voting polling location for every 50,000 residents during a 12-day period before Election Day. The polling sites would be open at least eight hours on weekdays and five hours on weekends.