WENY News - Local Board of Elections weighs in on potential voting law chang

Local Board of Elections weighs in on potential voting law changes

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ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- New York Democrats say they'll likely focus on state voting laws when they return to the state Legislature this week and they say they plan to work quickly.
    
Some say New York's laws are behind the times; for example, being one of only twelve states that does not allow early voting.
    
The Chemung County Board of Elections is one of many who relies solely on absentee ballots when residents can't get to the polls. 

"I think we had just about two-thousand absentees last year, so as far as that goes, [early voting is] going to be wonderful for us because we hand count absentee ballots," says Mary Collins, Deputy Commissioner with the Chemung County Board of Elections. "This way people can come in, vote early and their vote will be counted by Election Day."

Also on lawmakers lists--allowing for same-day registration. Currently, the state requires voters to register at least 25 days before an election.
    
Democrats say they would also like to see federal and state elections held on the same day, an issue currently costing the state millions of dollars and driving down voter turnout. 
    
Many similar proposals have failed in the past, however supporters are optimistic this time around, with democrats taking control of the Senate in November. 

"There's going to be a little expense to it," says Collins. "It's going to include a little more staffing hours and things, but in the long run, I think it's going to be a pretty smooth transition once it gets here."

The Legislative session officially begins in the Capitol on Wednesday.
 

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