Political Arena

Dinowitz wants early voting


Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has changed his mind about early voting in New York. 

At last week’s Community Board 8 meeting, Mr. Dinowitz said he is now in favor of early voting, which allows residents to vote at select locations prior to Election Day. Many good government groups, as well as Gov. Andrew Cuomo, support the plan, which they argue will help boost New York’s paltry voter turnout by making it easier and more convenient for people to vote. Many electeds, including Mr. Dinowitz, have been against early voting because it will change how they operate, as they will no longer be able to rely on campaigning heavily days prior to and on Election Day because people could vote weeks in advance.

 Mr. Dinowitz said at the meeting that the idea is still a “little strange” to him, but that anything that can be done “to encourage more people to vote is a good thing.”

“If people are given more time to vote, they’ll vote,” Mr. Dinowitz said.

In the massive book that accompanied his State of the State address, Mr. Cuomo argued early voting would also help reduce voter lines.

“New York has consistently ranked 47 in the nation or worse in voter turnout. Early voting is one of the most important steps necessary to improve voter turnout by making voting more convenient,” Mr. Cuomo said.

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia already have some sort of early voting, with “polls” opening an average of about 22 days before Election Day. Mr. Cuomo said he’s in favor of an early voting program that allows New Yorkers to vote at least one week prior to Election Day and that would open locations on the weekend prior to the election to accommodate those unable to vote on weekdays.