A state political official wants New York added to the list of states that participate in early voting. Under legislation submitted by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Michael Cusick, voters would be able to cast ballots at designated locations starting 14 days before a general election and seven days before a primary or special election. Under the legislation, the boards of elections for each county and New York City would have to designate at least five polling places for early voting from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the advance periods, including Saturdays and Sundays, which would be counted at the close of the polls on Election Day and included in that night’s tallies.
It’s a procedure that Silver said has taken too long to reach the Empire State. “Our democracy thrives when we have as many citizens as possible participating in the electoral process,” Silver said in a mid-December press release. Silver also introduced another bill that asks for increased public disclosure on campaign spending.
However, some conservative state politicians have come out against early voting, citing worries about how much it would cost the state to carry out the procedure. Others, like Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, cited worries about voter fraud. “I need to be assured that there would be safeguards in place to ensure there was no repeat voting,” she told the Staten Island Advance. “And in these tough fiscal times, I would want to look closer at the expense.”