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Early voting slammed as costly and impractical

Voters queue up in the Lake George Town Hall, waiting to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 2012 General Election. Turnout was heavy, and the waiting line at times extended through the town hall lobby out the entrance door. A new Early Voting legislative proposal, while aiming to boost voters' convenience, has prompted outcry from election commissioners who say it would be expensive and impractical.

Voters queue up in the Lake George Town Hall, waiting to cast ballots in the Nov. 6 2012 General Election. Turnout was heavy, and the waiting line at times extended through the town hall lobby out the entrance door. A new Early Voting legislative proposal, while aiming to boost voters' convenience, has prompted outcry from election commissioners who say it would be expensive and impractical. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Casey said she supported the concept of early voting — because it encourages more people to vote — but it should be accomplished through the existing system in place for absentee voting.

The absentee regulations — now providing only for those out-of-the area, physically challenged, or in jail — would have to be expanded to include those merely seeking to vote at their convenience.

She said the absentee system works well, features tight security and was inexpensive. She noted that the county handled 3,500 absentee ballots this last election.

Casey said that expanding voting opportunities made the most sense in New York City, where only 46 percent voter turnout occured this past election. Warren County voters tallied a 70 percent turnout, she said.

In response to Casey’s pleas, the county supervisors voted unanimously to draft a resolution and send it to state legislators and Gov. Cuomo.

Queensbury at-large Supervisor Bill Mason said the early voting proposal was ineffective and impractical.

“This is yet another unfunded mandate that may be jammed down our throats,” he said.

In Essex County, the county’s two elections commissioners made a similar plea Jan. 14 to county supervisors.

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