League of Women Voters of St. Lawrence County touts voting reforms passed by state lawmakers
CANTON -- The League of Women Voters of St. Lawrence County is highlighting the passage of several key voting reforms by the NYS legislature this week that the local chapter feels finally move the state into the 21st century of voting rights.
“New York has become the 39th state after far too long to embrace early voting. These reforms are much needed to move New York up from the bottom tier of states in voter participation,” said SLC League president Kathleen Stein of Canton.“Since the 1960s the state League of Women Voters has been advocating for comprehensive voting reforms. As the League proudly celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, our hard work has finally paid off,” Stein said.
Among the new voting measures voted in are:
• Early voting -- New York would allow for early voting for 10 days before Election Day at select polling places in each county. It would begin in time for the November 2019 elections.
• Easier voting -- New Yorkers could vote by mail or register to vote on Election Day. The state constitution needs to be changed, though, which would require passage of the bill in two successive legislative sessions and then passage by state voters in the third year, which could be as early as 2021.
• Voters who move within the state would not need to reregister to vote in their new county as is currently the requirement. This would not need a constitutional change, so could take effect this year.
• Primaries at one time -- Federal and state primaries would both be held on fourth Tuesday of June. Currently, federal primaries are in June and state primaries are in September. In a presidential year, under current law, that can mean up to four separate elections being held, putting a strain on local county Boards of Election.
• Closing the LLC loophole -- Limited liability companies could only make campaign contributions that are no more than $5,000, and the new law would require better disclosure of who is behind them— closing a loophole in campaign-finance law.
• Preregistration by youth --Young people age 16 and 17 would be able to preregister to vote for when they turn 18. Several other states already allow this.
The St. Lawrence County League is a nonpartisan political organization open to women and men that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
They need to be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo before being enacted.