New York’s polling places will open their doors at 6 a.m. statewide for primary elections beginning in 2020, according to an emerging budget deal at the state Capitol.
A budget bill introduced late Thursday mandates that all 62 counties open their primary polls at the same time, ending an often-criticized, decades-old practice where 13 counties — including all of New York City — opened at 6 a.m. and all others opened at noon.
Polls close at 9 p.m. in New York.
The wide-ranging bill is part of a $175 billion state budget expected to be put to a vote Sunday.
Government-reform groups had long pushed for the change, arguing that the non-uniform opening times disenfranchised voters upstate, where all counties but Erie opened at noon.
That gave upstate voters, including those in bigger counties like Monroe and Onondaga, less time to vote than downstate voters.
The counties that already opened at 6 a.m. were largely in the New York City area, including Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and both Long Island counties.