Last week, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a comprehensive legislative package aimed at better protecting voting rights in New York State.

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This package is an effort by the state to improve access to the ballot and ensure that every eligible New Yorker can exercise their right to vote.

Governor Hochul emphasized that the measures in the package will help empower every New Yorker to have their voice heard and solidify New York's position as a national leader in safeguarding voting rights.

The package includes several key measures focused on early voting practices and electoral education. Notably, the legislation incorporates the New York Early Mail Voter Act, establishing a system for early voting by mail. This reform enables all eligible and registered voters to request and cast early mail ballots, ensuring more flexibility and convenience in voting.

Additionally, the legislative package includes the "Golden Day" provision, which allows for voter registration and ballot casting on the first day of the early voting period. This measure streamlines the voting process by offering individuals the opportunity to both register and vote on the same day, further enhancing accessibility and participation.

The legislation also addresses crucial aspects of electoral education. For instance, it requires local jails to provide voter registration information to individuals of voting age upon release, ensuring that justice-involved New Yorkers are informed of their voting rights and can exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Furthermore, the package includes measures to protect the integrity of the voting process and enhance transparency. It establishes a deadline for changing the location of a polling place during the early voting period, providing voters with timely information about polling site changes. Moreover, absentee ballots sealed with tape or any binding agent will be counted, as long as the ballot is valid, eliminating unnecessary voids based on minor technicalities.

Governor Hochul says she hopes these reforms will significantly impact New York's democracy, improving voter turnout and strengthening the democratic fabric of the state.

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