Introduction of A689/S1461 Makes Early Voting Priority for 2013 Legislative Session
Leading good government groups in New York issued the following statement today in response to the recent introduction of an early voting bill by Speaker Sheldon Silver, with the companion bill introduced by Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins:
“Our groups commend Speaker Silver for introducing A.689
, and Democratic Leader Stewart-Cousins for sponsoring the companion bill in the State Senate (S.1461), which would implement early voting in New York State.
The 2012 presidential election revealed once again that New York State is a laggard rather than a leader in election administration. While 32 other states have some form of early voting, New York only allows voters to cast their ballots on one day, except in the limited circumstances in which voters are allowed to vote via absentee ballot. Consequently, New Yorkers faced long lines lasting up to several hours at many poll sites across the state on Election Day, deterring voters from exercising their right to vote.
We praise Speaker Silver for recognizing the importance of making voting more convenient for all New Yorkers, and introducing among his first bills for the 2013 session a proposal that will enable voters to vote one week in advance of a primary or special election and two weeks in advance of a general election in numerous locations in each of the state’s counties.
We look forward to engaging the Speaker’s Office, Governor Cuomo, and the entire leadership of the State Senate on this important issue as the State Legislature returns to Albany. We believe the implementation of early voting in New York will increase the opportunity for voters to cast their ballots, while maintaining privacy and the high integrity standards for casting ballots in New York State.”