Governor Signs Metzger Bill to Speed Up Implementation of Uniform Voting Hours for Primaries

New Voting Hours Now Apply to the 2020 Presidential Primary

Albany, NY...Governor Cuomo signed Senator Jen Metzger’s bill to expedite implementation of uniform primary hours today, allowing all New York voters the opportunity to vote from 6 am to 9 pm in the 2020 Presidential primary. 

Earlier this year, Metzger (SD-42) introduced legislation to make voting hours consistent across the state, effectively expanding voting hours for the many upstate counties where polls for primary elections did not open until noon. The implementation of uniform primary hours across the state is one of a number of voting reforms, including early voting, intended to increase voter participation and improve voter turnout in New York State. 

While Metzger’s legislation was passed as part of the state budget, an enactment date was set for the new poll hours beginning two days after the 2020 presidential primary election. The legislation adopted this week moves up the effective date, no longer depriving voters of the option to vote on the way to work or school.

"Voters in Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware, and other upstate counties should have the same access to the polls that voters in New York City and other counties have," said Senator Metzger. “We have a very important Presidential primary coming up in 2020, and I’m glad that this legislation is no longer being delayed."

The State Senate originally passed Metzger’s bill back in June with 60 votes in favor. The companion bill in the Assembly is sponsored by Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton of Ithaca, who represents the 125th District.