Democrats preparing to take control of New York’s legislature are plotting to overhaul voting and elections laws that were last updated to protect the power of Tammany Hall. Legislators and voting rights activists say New York’s laws are among the nation’s most antiquated. It is one of a minority of states that do not allow voters to cast a ballot before Election Day, and its absentee ballot laws are among the most restrictive in the country. After notching big gains in the 2018 midterm elections, Democratic leaders who will take over the state Senate in January say they will act on a handful of measures meant to update those laws.
“We have some of the worst election laws in the country,” said Brian Kavanagh, a New York state senator who will head the Senate Elections Committee next year. “We really are poised to move forward to going from having one of the worst sets of laws in the country to having one of the best.”
Kavanagh has introduced a bill that would allow voters to cast ballots before Election Day. Early voting is allowed in 37 states and the District of Columbia, but not in New York, which with 12.7 million registered voters is by far the largest state with no advance voting regime.
State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D) has introduced legislation that would automatically register eligible voters when they interact with state government, a practice already in place in 14 states and Washington, D.C. Those states range from liberal California to deep red Alaska and West Virginia.
Full Article: New York’s election laws come under attack by Dems | TheHill.