Letter to the editor: Taxpayers will pay early voting costs

Senator Daphne Jordan

February 04, 2019

Originally published in Post Star on February 03, 2019.

Editor:

The Post-Star’s recent editorial “Early voting is a great step forward in New York” painted an incomplete picture about the costly impact of early voting and other measures advanced by the Senate Democratic Majority.

I strongly support more New Yorkers voting. If you’re eligible to vote and registered to vote, you should vote. Voting is our civic duty and the heart of our representative democracy. However, there were many good reasons I voted against the Senate Democrats’ bills. My reasons had nothing to do with partisanship and everything to do with facts.

First was the issue of cost. Senate Democrats put the cart before the horse by providing zero funding for their early voting measures. Absent the money to pay for it, their proposals amount to another multi-million dollar Albany unfunded mandate.

The NYS Association of Counties shared that estimates to implement early voting provisions “… could cost between $500,000 to $1 million per county outside of New York City ...” With 57 counties outside New York City, early voting’s cost could possibly run from $28.5 million to $57 million (these are estimates). With our state facing an approximately $3.1 billion budget deficit, and debt of $57.3 billion, where exactly is New York supposed to come up with $28.5 million to $57 million for early voting?

I’m against Albany unfunded mandates that hurt local governments and taxpayers. If Albany wants localities to do something, then Albany should pay for it. The Senate Democrats failing to provide any funding for their early voting unfunded mandates speaks volumes. The Senate Democrats want somebody else to pay. That somebody is you.

There are many more good reasons why I opposed the Democrats' measures. Visit my Senate website to learn more.

Daphne Jordan, State Senator 43rd District, Albany

Editor’s note: It was the contention of the governor and the sponsors of the legislation that enough money would be saved by consolidating two separate primary dates — which also passed — to pay for the cost of early voting.