New York would join 38 states in allowing early voting under a set of election reforms that state lawmakers are expected to approve with Gov. Andrew Cuomo's support on Monday.
The early-voting bill, which is intended to increase voter participation, would require counties to open a limited number of polling stations 10 days before every election, including primaries and special elections. The policy would start this year with the Nov. 5 general election.
The number of voters in each county would determine the minimum number of polling sites. Orange County would have to open at least four, Ulster County would need at least two, and Sullivan County would need at least one. Polls would be open for at least eight hours a day on weekdays and at least five hours a day on the two weekends in the early-voting period.
In the first legislative push by Democrats after winning control of the Senate in the November, lawmakers are also set to consolidate New York's state and federal primaries in June, eliminating the second primary New York has held for state and local offices in September after a judge moved federal primaries to June.
The bill package also includes two proposed constitutional amendments to allow same-day voter registration and voting by absentee ballot without having to specify a reason. Those proposals would take effect only if approved by the Legislature again in 2021 and then by voters in a statewide referendum.