Palmesano Comes Out Against Early Voting Bill
February 11, 2014
ALBANY, NY – Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) today issued a statement about what he described as “costly legislation” that passed on the Assembly floor. “The Assembly majority passed a one-house bill that would require counties to open polling sites for a total of 15 days before the normal Election Day”, Palmesano said in an email. The Corning Republicans says that this would add several million dollars in costs to local governments.
“This bill is another example of an unfunded mandate being forced down the throats of local governments by bureaucrats in Albany,” said Palmesano. “The extra costs associated with staffing polling locations, keeping them open longer, and disrupting the operations of the host facilities, such as schools, senior centers, fire stations, and so on are projected to be immense. If the majority believes this measure is necessary, it should take on the responsibility of funding it and not abdicate that responsibility to already over-extended local governments.”
According to Palmesano, the bill would require every county to designate five polling locations to be open from the third Thursday before a general election until the Thursday just prior to Election Day, increasing the total number of voting days from one to sixteen. The polling sites must be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. “There are several states that have instituted this practice and statistics show that they have not seen a meaningful increase in turnout,” said Palmesano. “Rather than adding costly burdens to our local governments, we should look for ways to improve the process without weighing them down.”