Democrats in the state Assembly are pushing to institute early voting in New York, but local elections officials say it would be costly and difficult to implement. “Our democracy thrives when we have as many citizens as possible participating in the electoral process,” said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, in a December press release. Silver has introduced legislation to establish early voting in New York, legislation he said will be a priority in the legislative session that opens Wednesday. Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester County, has introduced companion legislation in the state Senate.
Under the proposed legislation, each county would be required to operate at least five polling places from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including Saturdays and Sundays, for 14 days before any general election and seven days before a primary or special election.
A total of 32 other states and the District of Columbia already offer early voting, according to Silver’s office.
“The president of the United States himself voted by early voting,” said Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell, D-Manhattan, a co-sponsor of the
legislation, in a telephone interview. Because early voting allows people to vote when they have time to do it, more people would be likely to vote, he suggested.
New York, with 46 percent voter turnout statewide, had the third-lowest turnout in the nation in November, according to Silver’s office.
Full Article: Early voting in New York easier said than done.