October 30, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Streamline, Modernize and Bring Efficiencies to the Election Process

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Streamline,...

S.2346/A.2264 Enacts "Uniform Election Night Procedure Act" to Help Ensure a Uniform Poll Closing Procedure on Election Nights

 

S.6449/A.3543 Removes Normal Limitation of 500 Maximum Voters in a Combined Election District if One of the Combined Districts has Fewer than 10 Voters

 

Governor Cuomo: "Voting is a fundamental pillar of our democracy, and this year we've enacted historic reforms to modernize New York's voting laws and strengthen our election system. These measures continue this monumental progress by bringing uniformity and commonsense to the voting process, helping to ensure every vote is counted and encourage more voters to exercise this fundamental right."

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to establish a uniform poll closing process on election nights (S.2346/A.2264) and authorize the consolidation of certain election districts with fewer than 10 eligible voters (S.6449/A.3543). 

"Voting is a fundamental pillar of our democracy, and this year we've enacted historic reforms to modernize New York's voting laws and strengthen our election system," Governor Cuomo said. "These measures continue this monumental progress by bringing uniformity and commonsense to the voting process, helping to ensure every vote is counted and encourage more voters to exercise this fundamental right." 

S.2346/A.2264 Enacts "Uniform Election Night Procedure Act"

This new law establishes a uniform procedure for winding down poll sites across the State at the end of an election day. The new uniform procedure streamlines and modernizes the process of closing the polls to better maintain the integrity of the process and help ensure an orderly poll closing. This law takes effect immediately.

Senator Brian P. Kavanagh said, "When we run our elections smoothly, we enhance people's faith in our democracy. Election day isn't complete until the votes are counted. The Uniform Election Night Procedure Act is an important measure to help ensure that election workers and the general public can rely on a clear, secure, uniform process for closing the polls and reporting the results on election night. We've worked for many years to get it enacted; I thank Election Committee Chairs Zellnor Myrie and Charles Lavine for their leadership helping to get it passed in the Senate and the Assembly, and Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing it into law today."

Assembly Member Charles D. Lavine said, "As Chair of the Election Law Committee, the measures that are being taken this year to make voting easier for NY State residents is unprecedented. It is now more important than ever for our elections to be as transparent and as uniform as possible to ensure every vote is counted and to encourage more voters to participate in this important democratic process. By establishing a uniform procedure for closing polls at the end of an election day, this law will help to ensure poll workers and voters alike understand and trust in the process. I thank my partners in the legislature for passing this bill and Governor Cuomo for signing it into law." 

S.6449/A.3543 Authorizes Consolidation of Certain Election Districts with Fewer than 10 Eligible Voters

Many election districts across the state contain fewer than 10 eligible voters, and under previous law these election districts could not be combined with other election districts if the resulting election district has more than 500 eligible voters. This new law removes the normal limitation of 500 maximum voters in a combined election district if one of the combined districts has fewer than 10 voters, granting greater flexibility to Boards of Election to combine election districts and reducing costs to tax payers. This law takes effect immediately.

Senator Leroy Comrie said, "Effective, rational and voter-friendly electoral administration has been a longstanding priority of mine and is an essential baseline for a healthy and robust democracy.  I am encouraged by Governor Cuomo's timely approval of Senate Bill 6449, which will allow local Boards of Election to effectively consolidate exceptionally small voting districts, saving taxpayers all over the state money and ensuring that precious resources are concentrated for maximum effect in the name of proactively serving the voting public." 

Assembly Member Robert C. Carroll said, "A.3543 will mean that no longer will there be election districts with fewer than 10 voters. This will ensure more efficient elections which will in turn make voting easier. Thank you to my colleagues in the legislature for passing this bill and to the Governor for signing this important bill today."

A key goal of the Governor's 2019 Justice Agenda is to modernize New York's voting laws to increase voter participation. On October 26, early voting went into effect for the first time, making it easier for New York voters to participate in elections without logistical burdens. These reforms will allow for eight days of early voting before an election, synchronize federal and state primary elections, allow voter preregistration for teenagers, provide voter registration portability within the state, and close the LLC loophole.

Last month, Governor Cuomo also signed legislation expediting party enrollment changes to make it easier for voters to participate in the upcoming primary elections. This removed the October 11 deadline and gives voters until February 14 to make changes to party enrollment and still vote in the April presidential and June congressional and state primaries.

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