Lower petition signature requirement signed into action; set to impact all local elections

Bills that would reduce the number the number of needed petition signatures for ballot access were approved on Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The measure were passed by the Legislature after lawmakers this year previously approved a bill unifying the state and congressional primaries to a single date, the fourth Tuesday in June.

But with the earlier primary comes the need to collect petition signatures in order to be on the ballot, making life potentially difficult for candidates running for election this year.

One bill approved by the governor will temporarily reduce the number of petition signatures for those candidates running in the 2019 elections by lowering the cap needed to qualify. The other bill reduces the needed petition signatures for elections on the ward, town, city and county party level to 3 percent of enrolled voters of a party.

“New York has made significant progress in modernizing our voting laws and ensuring fairness in our electoral system with the passage of key legislation this year,” Cuomo said in a statement. “These changes further our progress by easing the burden for potential candidates who may not have had the chance to adjust to earlier petition dates this election, helping to ensure that candidates who want to run for office have the chance to do so.”

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