Brooklyn Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie, chair of the State Senate Elections Committee, and Assembly Member Charles Lavine, Assembly Elections Chair, recently held a public hearing on the implementation of the state’s first ever period of early voting.
“Testimony in this hearing made clear that our first ever implementation of early voting was largely a success, and the local boards of elections deserve to be commended for getting it done, particularly under the tight timeline,” said Myrie, who represents the 20th Senatorial District. “Early voting was so successful that the general sentiment on what could be better is, in a word — more.
“Testimony after testimony called for more poll sites and more money in the state budget to help make early voting as widely available as possible,” he added.
“With unprecedented turnout expected in next year’s elections, we’re also committed to working on some of the administrative and procedural challenges like county-wide voting centers, increasing the options for poll sites, and ensuring accessibility, so that everyone in our state is empowered to make their voice heard at the ballot box,” Myrie continued.
Lavine said that: “After many years of trying, the state legislature succeeded in passing early voting, and finally, Nassau County residents with difficult schedules had the opportunity to vote with ease.
“With this hearing, we had the chance to get feedback from experts and the public on our first implementation, identify the hiccups, and equip us to make our democracy work better than ever,” he said.
The Early Voting Period started on Oct. 26 and ran through Nov. 3. During the first weekend, Myrie said unofficial results showed over 50,000 people voted.
He said a daily average of slightly more than 26,500 people voted early during the early voting period.
New York City averaged about 6,700 voters per day, and unofficial turnout was just over 1 percent, Myrie said.
Outside of New York City, he said the unofficial turnout was about 2.4 percent.
In 2020, Myrie said there will be 27 days of early voting overall: Nine each for the Presidential Primary, April 28; the State & Federal Primary, Jun; 23; and the General Election, Nov. 3.