When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed reforms to make voting easier in New York state, including allowing early voting before Election Day, he left something out: the cost. His proposed 2018-2019 state budget released earlier this week doesn’t include any money for launching the initiative, but an estimated $6.4 million in costs are to be paid collectively by county Boards of Elections, which administer the local election systems. It is exactly what county officials had feared. Counties say that isn’t fair to them, and voting rights advocates who had been hopeful there would be money for the initiative were disappointed.
“It’s an assumed cost for the counties,” said Jennifer Wilson, policy director for the League of Women Voters of New York State. “It’s essentially a new state mandate.”
The cost, if it were divided equally among the state’s counties, would work out to just over $100,000 per county.