Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed $7 million in funding for early voting in New York state after initially planning to leave the cost of implementing early voting to counties. County officials and voting advocates have complained that the initiative Cuomo proposed in his executive budget in January lacked funding, fearing the cost would be a new unfunded mandate from the state. Cuomo announced the proposed funding on Monday, as a 30-day amendment to the executive budget he proposed last month. The proposal would allow people to start voting 12 days before Election Day, beginning in 2019. The change would encourage voting, Cuomo said, by giving people more time to vote and reducing lines at polling places on Election Day.
Cuomo has proposed legislation that would require every county to have at least one polling place open early and for larger counties to have one polling place for every 50,000 registered voters. The measure also calls for early polling hours to be scheduled on both weekdays and weekends. County board of elections would determine where the polling places would be.
Cuomo’s original budget proposal included legislation for early voting, but assumed that counties would pick up the cost, which was then estimated at $6.4 million. Voting rights advocated urged that the state assume the funding burden, which they estimated at around $100,000 per county.
Full Article: Money for early voting added to budget | The Daily Gazette.