Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill sponsored by Senator Shelley B. Mayer (D-Westchester) and Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-Dutchess), S.5188/A.8257, which bars changing the entrances or exits of polling places while polls are open. The new law is effective immediately.
Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “Thank you to Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing this important bill into law and removing another barrier to voter participation. Over the past years, voters have complained that the entrances and exits of polling places were changed throughout the day, without adequate notice to voters, causing confusion for those trying to cast a ballot. This new law ensures that entrances and exits are not changed without sufficient cause to do so. The new law also ensures that in the event a change must be made—to increase access to the polling place for those with disabilities or in the event of an emergency at the original entrance or exit—clearly marked signage must be placed to inform voters of the change.”
- Ban the changing of poll place entrances or exits after polls open;
- Allow for changes to entrances or exists to maintain public safety due to an emergency or to increase access for persons with disabilities; and
- In the event of a change, require clearly marked signage adjacent to the former entrance or exit informing voters of the change.
Senator Mayer continued, “I am proud of the work the State Senate Majority has spearheaded to increase voter participation in New York State. Over the past two years, the legislature has approved and apportioned funding for Early Voting, Universal Absentee Ballot access during COVID, and pre-registration of 16- and 17-year olds, among other measures. I encourage constituents to reach out to my office if they see a hurdle to voting that can be removed legislatively. We know we have more work to do. My colleagues and I are committed to doing all we can to improve access to voting for New Yorkers.”