New York considers early voting

Jan 2, 2013

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants New York to join the ranks of states with early voting.

Currently, 32 states and the District of Columbia have some form of voting before election day. That includes Oregon where there are no polling places, only Post Office boxes for mailed-in ballots.

The Silver proposal calls for each county to have five early polling places, open seven days before a primary or special election and 14 days before a general election.

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes is backing the plan, saying new computerized voting machines are slowing casting ballots.

"So many people are voting and since we have this new process of voting, it actually takes longer. You've got to go to on-line to identify who you are and pick up your ballot," said Peoples-Stokes.

"You need to sit down and fill it out and then you have to go to another line to put it through the machine. That actually adds to the time that it takes to vote."

Silver says only 48 percent of eligible voters turned out this year and early voting might bring out more of them. State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos isn't saying anything yet about the proposal.

Elma Republican Senator Patrick Gallivan says something has to be done to get more voters out.

"The jury's out on it (early voting). I do think anything that we can do to encourage more people to vote, we should be pursuing," Gallivan told WBFO News.

"Anything that we can to ensure there is a more informed electorate, we should be doing. I don't know if the early voting can do that."

Gallivan says having more places to vote might help.