Cuomo proposes funding for early voting
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced February 12, budget amendments to fund early voting in New York. The governor's action will provide approximately $7 million in the Fiscal Year 2019 Executive Budget for counties statewide to offer early voting in the 12 days leading up to election day. Cuomo is advancing the legislation, which would require every county to offer residents access to at least one early voting site during that 12-day pre-election period. Voters will have at least eight hours on weekdays and five hours on weekends to cast early ballots. Counties must have one early voting poll site for every 50,000 residents. The county boards of Election will determine the specific polling locations. Richard Moody is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media county boards of elections generally oppose the Cuomo plan. Locally, Greene County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Brent Bogardus is against the proposal because of the financial burden it will place on local governments. Columbia County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Virginia Martin does not like the idea either, arguing it could cause flaws in the voting process, cost more money and is not proven to increase voter turnout. Under current law, New York is one of only 13 states where early voting is not available and an excuse is required to request an absentee ballot. Read the full press release at governor [dot] ny [dot] gov [slash] news.