It’s time New York state finally changed its antiquated voting rules and procedures that are perpetuating the state’s low voter turnout, Democratic lawmakers in the Legislature said Tuesday as they announced yet another election reform package. New York ranks among the bottom in terms of voter turnout, a situation Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, of Yonkers, called “extremely embarrassing” during a news conference detailing some of the 13 voting rights bills aimed at making it easier for New Yorkers to cast ballots. Among the Democrats’ top priorities is allowing early voting, which already is in place in 34 states.
The early voting bill would provide state funding so local governments wouldn’t have to cover related costs, estimated at $6 million to $7 million, said Sen. Brian Kavanagh, who represents parts of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.
New York state ranked 41st in voter turnout during the 2016 elections, the Democrats said.
“Our bills will modernize voter registration, implement early voting, protect voters’ rights, and cut red tape which has kept far too many New Yorkers from exercising their constitutional right,” Stewart-Cousins said.