ALBANY, N.Y. (via WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation Thursday designed to make election ballots easier to read, and to require board of elections staff to better inform voters about the layout and contents of ballots.
“Voting is a fundamental right and there should never be a situation where that right is infringed on just because the ballot isn’t clear,” Cuomo said in a press release. “These measures will bolster the progress we’ve made to improve voting access by ensuring ballots clearly lay out the choices and there is no confusion when New Yorkers walk into the voting booth.”
This bill requires boards of election to post sample ballots on their websites prior to each election as soon as the relevant information becomes available, which will allow voters to see the ballot layout and options ahead of time and which can reduce the waiting time at the polls. This act takes effect on January 1, 2021.
Last month, 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.
Officials from Cuomo’s office say a key goal of the governor’s 2019 Justice Agenda is to modernize New York’s voting laws to increase voter participation. On Saturday, October 26, early voting will go into effect for the first time.