Statement in Response to Passage of Early Voting Legislation
By Stephen J. Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties
"Outside of New York City, election costs are the mandated responsibility of county governments through local boards of elections. The operational budgets for these local boards have been enacted at the close of 2018. Additional costs associated with staffing and securing early voting locations, printing and counting additional ballots, ensuring elections are safe from cyber security threats, and meeting other legal election requirements have not been fully calculated by the state and counties. Estimates for these new provisions suggest that it could cost between $500,000 to $1 million per county outside of New York City, depending on its size. Under a two percent property tax cap, counties cannot afford additional new costs associated with early voting and other election reforms.
Combining the state and federal primaries will not provide counties outside New York City with enough savings to offset the cost of early voting.
NYSAC requests that the State work with local boards of elections to enumerate the full fiscal impact of early voting and ensure proper funding is appropriated to cover the costs before any statutory provisions are put in place. On behalf of the counties outside New York City, we call on Governor Andrew Cuomo and State Legislators to include funding in the 2019-20 State Budget to cover the cost of implementing early voting, otherwise it will be one more unfunded state mandated cost on local property taxpayers."
Read NYSAC's reports and fact sheets on election reforms here.
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Media Contact: Mark LaVigne | firstname.lastname@example.org | 518-429-0189