State Senate Passes Voting Measures

On January 10, 2022, the New York State Senate passed a package of nine bills to liberalize voting and voter registration in New York.

The Senate-passed bills include legislation that would:

  • Decrease the voter registration deadline from 25 days before an election to 10 days before an election;
  • Require that a ballot from an eligible voter be counted if it is cast at the wrong polling place, so long as that the voter appears in the correct county;
  • Allow county election boards to create drop-off locations for absentee ballots;
  • Provide for the creation of portable early voting locations;
  • Ban contributions by foreign businesses or businesses influence by foreign interests;
  • Provide for polling places on or near college campuses; and
  • Allow voters to register in the districts where their second homes are located.

According to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the goal of these bills is to “‘amplify the [voice] of each New York voter.’” Strangely, however, these bills take steps in the direction of two policies—universal mail-in voting and same-day voter registration—that voters rejected at the ballot box last November.

As of January 13, the Assembly has not yet acted on these nine bills.