County Board Recommends Voting Changes. Votes on them next.

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2019. From the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Edited. June 13, 2019:

The Westchester County Board of Legislators’ Voting Reform Working Group has completed its review of New York State election law

In January, the state enacted a number of voting reforms.

Among the changes is early voting — this year early voting will begin Saturday October 26 and run through Sunday November 3.  In addition, where New York used to have two separate primary days, one for local and state races and another for federal races, there is now one primary day — the fourth Tuesday in June, which this year is June 25.

Also, when voters move from one location to another in New York State, their voter registration will automatically be transferred to the new location when they register a change of address with a state agency or submit an affidavit ballot.  And beginning in 2020, 16- and 17-year-olds will be able to pre-register to vote so that their registrations will automatically become effective on their 18th birthdays.

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The group, formed in January 2019 by Board Chairman Ben Boykin, was tasked with examining the new laws and the effect they will have on voters, candidates and the Board of Legislators itself.

In a 14-page report, the Group recommended several changes which the full Board will now consider – including recommendations for the number and location of early polling sites, how to deal with Board vacancies under the state’s new election calendar, what changes of County laws might need to be passed to conform to the new state laws, and more.

The Group was chaired by Legislator Christopher Johnson (D – Yonkers), and included other legislators, County Attorney John Nonna, and members of the BOL and County Executive’s staff.

Leg. Johnson said, “I’m excited that the state has taken action to make it easier for more people to vote, and I’m looking forward to future action in Albany to expand voter participation. The Working Group took a deep dive into these changes, not only to assess their impact on voters and candidates, but also to assess what actions the Board and the County will need to take to implement these changes. While I’m sure there will be a learning curve as we begin conducting our first elections under these new rules, I believe the Working Group’s thorough examination will help the County get off on the right foot, and I’d like to thank all the Group’s members for their diligent efforts.”

Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “I’d like to thank Legislator Johnson and all the Working Group participants. These are major changes in the way people in Westchester vote, and it was important for the Board to get out in front and proactively evaluate what steps will need to be taken to implement the changes as smoothly as possible for voters, candidates and everyone in Westchester.”

The Working Group’s full report is available on the Board’s website:https://www.westchesterlegislators.com/images/PDF/2019vrwgfinalreport.pdf

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