Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 30-day budget amendments released Friday don’t include funding for the implementation of early voting in New York.
Advocates and county officials hoped Cuomo would add funding to his 2019-20 budget proposal. The state Legislature passed a bill in January to allow nine days of early voting before Election Day. Cuomo signed it into law.
When Cuomo released his executive budget proposal, it didn’t incude funding for early voting. The governor’s office explained that early voting would be funded through the consolidation of the federal and state primary elections, along with the proposed “internet fairness tax,” which would impose sales taxes on items sold by out-of-state vendors to New Yorkers on internet marketplaces.
However, early voting proponents and county leaders say that any savings from consolidating the primaries won’t be realized until 2020 — early voting takes effect this year — and there’s no guarantee the expanded internet sales tax will be adopted.
Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY and a founding member of the Let NY Vote coalition, urged the state Legislature to include funding for early voting in their budget proposals.