State Senate to take steps to vote

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State Senate to take steps to vote

“At the start of every session we pay homage to the voters of this state and take action to ensure their votes  are respected and protected,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “As states around the country have rolled back voting reforms,  here in New York we have made it clear that elections matter, voting matters, and leadership matters. The bills advanced today continue our efforts to modernize our electoral system and create a fairer and more transparent system. I applaud the bill sponsors for advancing these bills and standing up for New York voters.”

Similar measures expected to be taken up in the state Senate later on Monday. 

Another bill would allow voters to cast their ballot at a second residence. And lawmakers want to adjust how candidates appear on the ballot in order to prevent so-called voter “dropoff” in which some elections are skipped. 

Lawmakers in the state Senate today are expected to back bills that continue to respond to the ongoing pandemic. COVID absentee voting for school district elections would be extended for this year, as would measures put in place for general elections. 

Story Highlights

  • The measures represent the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers in New York to tackle the issue of election and voter access as the issue has become an increasingly heated one in states across the nation. 

  • The measures also come after Gov. Kathy Hochul last week in her State of the State called to lower the voter registration deadline to 10 days prior to an election, require polling sites on college campuses and enact a state-level voting rights act in New York. 

Another bill would allow counties to have two or more locations for portable polling places for early voting in the state, which began in 2019. 

Lawmakers are also set to consider a bill that would allow local elections officiasl to use drop-off boxes to collect absentee ballots. And lawmakers in the state Senate are due to vote on a bill that would require the counting of affidavit ballots of eligible voters if the voter appears at a polling place in the correct county, but at the wrong election district. 

New York in recent years has sought to expand ways to vote, most recently establishing early voting.  But other efforts have faltered with voters themselves: In November, voters rejected constitutional amendments to allow for no-excuse absentee balloting as well as end the 10-day voter registration requirement.