New York needs to allow early voting too

Earlier this year the Democratic Caucus of the New York State Elections Commissioners Association formally endorsed early voting in New York state. The support for this voting reform was nearly unanimous within our caucus. The time is now for New York state to enact this vital reform. There are now 37 states, the vast majority of the country, that allow their citizens the option of casting votes before Election Day. It is time for New York state to become the 38th state.

In our modern day society there is more pressure than ever on our time. The concept of voting only in a single 15 hour period on a Tuesday in November is antiquated and does not take into account our modern needs. Early Voting is one of the most vocal demands of citizens coming to our Board of Election offices in the days leading up to Election Day. They see other states have this convenience and want that option here in our state.

Early voting is already a popular demand in New York. A Jan. 16 Siena college poll shows 65 percent (73 percent Democrats; 49 percent Republicans; 68 percent Independents) are in favor of “instituting early voting in New York like it exists in dozens of other states.”

I am pleased that Governor Cuomo and Legislative leaders have determined that this is the year to propose meaningful electoral reform and expand accessibility with early voting. The proposed legislation, coupled with a state appropriation to counties and the city of New York to reduce the financial burden on our local Boards of Elections, gives New Yorkers the accessibility to the ballot box that they deserve.

The time is now for New York to join the vast majority of the country. Pass early voting and its funding in this year’s budget and New Yorkers can enjoy the convenience the rest of the country already enjoys.

If you also want Early Voting, it is important your state representatives hear from you. Call them and demand. Early Voting stay legislation and funding is passed in this year’s budget.

DUSTIN M. CZARNY

NYSECA Democratic Caucus Chair

Commissioner (D) Onondaga County Board of Elections

Syracuse