Voting In Rochester

Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

New York's Antiquated Voting Laws Are About To Change

January 11, 2019 - 9:03 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Early voting, and other modern election procedures may soon arrive in New York State as Albany's antiquated voting laws are about to change.

The new Democrat-controlled Legislature is promising election reform, long-dreamed of from Buffalo to Montauk.

During last year's contentious elections, New York was the only state that held separate state and federal primaries in different months. State lawmakers on Monday will pass bills to change that, allowing voting by mail and same day voter registration, though those changes will require voter referendums, WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported.

The package of bills being voted on Monday also combines state and federal primary elections and closes a loophole that allows corporate interests unlimited anounts of money into campaigns anonymously, Diamond reported.

Same day registration, and early sign-up for 16 and 17 year olds could also be part of New York's new way of voting.

Early voting, voting by mail and same day voter registration, all are fairly basic voting reform across the country, but not in New York, says Susan Lerner, the Executive Director of Common Cause New York.

"This package would set up early voting for New York finally which is very exciting," Lerner said.

The old rules have long been blamed for holding down turnout, while efforts to change the system have died in a politically-divided Albany.