Early voting warrants more consideration

The turnout for the General Election statewide in 2012 was also 46 percent, a number which ranked New York as having the third lowest voter turnout in the nation.

So something is wrong and needs to be changed, and we can agree with that. Lawmakers are saying that they want this to be enacted for this election season, which begins with primaries in September and the General Election Nov. 5.

In a way, it sounds a lot like the legislative push on gun violence: here’s the problem, lets fix it now, here’s an idea, passed.

On this one, the legislature needs to take a deep breath and listen to the foot soldiers, the ones who have been put in charge of the matter at the county level.

In Essex County, Democratic Commissioner to the Board of Elections Robert Pell-deChame basically called out lawmakers for what would be yet another unfunded state mandate, making counties spend more money on poll workers that would have to be set up in one of at least five early voting polling sites spread throughout the county. Additional mileage would also have to be paid.

To make matters worse, bringing early voting to the state this year would give counties an unfunded mandate that they are not even prepared for, with counties already having spending plans for the year in place and, in the case of Essex County, having very little wiggle room to fund a new mandate from the state.

So please, lawmakers, on this one, take a step back, look at all of the issues that come with this decision, and not just the ones that would lead to quick passage of these bills. You’ve already done that once this year, and it didn’t work out very well for you.

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