ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – New York State lawmakers are expected to approve some major voting reforms Monday.
The changes are meant to make it easier for voters to cast their ballots and drive up voter turnout.
Some of the reforms up for review Monday – the first full day of the 2019 session – include allowing early voting and registering on Election Day.
WEB EXTRA: READ THE VOTING REFORM PROPOSALS (.pdf)
The 2018 elections were plagued with voting machine failures, long lines inside and out in the rain and frustrated voters. But that could soon be a thing of the past for New Yorkers.
“We’re going to do amazing things to bring real change and increase voter participation,” Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris told CBS2’s Political Reporter Marcia Kramer. “[The Legislature] is going to pass early voting, is going to make it easier to vote by mail and is going to move the primary date so that we don’t have multiple primaries every single year.”
New York could be among the many states that allow advanced voting, giving voters the option to cast ballots up to 10 days before Election Day.
MORE: New York’s Antiquated Voting Laws Set For Monumental Overhaul
Other changes we could see include the pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds and closing the so-called “LLC Loophole” that allows corporations to funnel unlimited amounts into campaigns. Bills to allow same day registration and voting by mail may also be passed but require constitutional amendments, so they are not expected to go into effect until 2022.
“I think it’s a marvelous and very exciting down payment on the full package of reforms we need,” said Susan Lerner, with the non-partisan grassroots organization Common Cause.
Lerner added she would also like to see “restoring voting rights for people who are on parole, we definitely want to see automatic voter registration.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also pushing for more reforms, including public financing of campaigns and making Election Day a state holiday.
CBS2 reached out to the New York City Board of Elections, but a spokesperson would not say how it would implement the changes.
Early voting is expected to go into effect in November, when the public advocate race is on the ballot.