In his proposed budget for the coming year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York must at long last bring its elections into the 21st century by, among other things, joining the large majority of states that permit early voting.
He’s right. Mr. Cuomo, however, has so far set aside no state funds to carry out this change, which means New York’s 62 counties would have to pick up the tab. This is regrettable. But it’s also fixable. To show he means business in this matter, the governor has until Thursday to add the necessary money before he hits a deadline in this stage of the budget process.
We’re not talking about vast amounts of cash. Quite the contrary. Some officials have estimated it would cost as little as $6.4 million to enable New Yorkers to vote across a stretch of days instead of solely on Election Day, Nov. 6 this year. With a budget weighing in at $168 billion, the state spends at a rate of about $320,000 a minute. Early voting would thus be a mere 20-minute expense.