Early Voting Laws Could Be Costly To County
Published: February 22nd, 2013
By: Shawn Magrath

NORWICH – Proposed state legislation that would require Chenango County to adopt early voting policies was objected to by the board of supervisors this month, citing reasons that early voting would be incredibly costly with little benefit in return.

Last week, board members voted unanimously to pass a resolution that voiced opposition to a series of proposed bills that, if passed, would require county officials to allow voting 14 days prior to a general election and seven days before a primary election. The legislation would also permit same-day registration at polling sites throughout the county, allowing voters a last-minute chance to register just moments before heading into the voting booth.

Also under these proposed amendments to the state election law, fiv­e polling places must be established throughout the county, open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day for early voting, weekends included, which means paying the expense of poll inspectors and space rental fees for several polling sites. It also requires that voters be allowed to register at a polling place, but the process would likely require each voting place to have internet access, which isn’t currently available at most.

The legislation - created to bolster voter turnout in New York State - would make a huge dent in the county budget, say local officials, as the proposed mandates are unfunded and wouldn’t yield the turnout to justify the increased cost of each election.

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