It's kneejerk, this opposition to a proposed early voting program being considered in Albany. Local Republican leaders fall back on the "its too expensive" or "it's a mandate" argument.
New York is one state, so when Albany establishes how elections will occur, it's not a mandate, it's the law. As for expense, the costs of facilitating participation and allowing the people to express their will is very small compared to the size of the government they are hoping to influence.
We need more democracy, not less, and if the local county legislature wants to enhance the public's right to vote, they could start with allowing direct election of a county executive.
I don't know if the proposed early voting system is the best one, and I don't agree with some states that have go so far that elections and campaigns lose focus.
Surely, there is room for compromise and Republicans should worry about finding ways to win elections, and not worrying about clinging to the current system.
I think of a more modest change. End the absentee requirement of having a reason to vote ahead of time. Currently voters have to fib to get a ballot and frankly it's no one's business why you vote early and there are safeguards against voting again on Election Day.
But back to expense. As a citizen, I don't mind a few thousand dollars of my almost $200 county budget going to running elections, however we decide to do them.
Watertown Daily Times | Jefferson County election commissioners oppose early voting legislation