Brooklyn Sen. Zellnor Y. Myrie has applauded what he describes as the “successful rollout” of early voting in New York.
On Jan. 14, Myrie, who represents the 20th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, introduced, and the legislature passed, the first bill of the 2019 legislative session: Early Voting.
On Nov. 3, New York put that legislation put into action, as it successfully implemented the first ever period of early voting in the state.
“We were pleased to see that the rollout of early voting was a resounding success,” said Elections Chair Myrie. “More than 256,000 people voted across the state, and reports of the experience were overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s clear that we are making our democracy more accessible than ever,” he added. “Voting is the right that protects all other rights, and early voting helps ensure that everyone, regardless of their schedule constraints, has the opportunity to make their voice heard at the ballot box.”
Myrie said he voted at his poll site, Clara Barton High School in Crown Heights, as soon as the polls opened on Saturday, Oct. 26.
On Nov. 20, Myrie said he will chair a Senate Hearing on the implementation of Early Voting, which will offer the opportunity to discuss potential improvements to the process.
The Early Voting Period started Oct. 26 and ran through Nov. 3.
During the first weekend, Myrie said unofficial results show over 50,000 people voted.
He said a daily average of slightly more than 26,500 people voted early during the early voting period.
New York City averaged about 6,700 voters per day and unofficial turnout was just over 1 percent, Myrie said.
Outside of New York City, he said unofficial turnout was about 2.4 percent.
Myrie said the final Sunday was “a big day for turnout”.
He said Albany (795), Dutchess (1,215), Monroe (2,033), Nassau (5,426), Onondaga (1,586), Orange (984), Rockland (1,394) Suffolk (3,079), Ulster (1,146) and Westchester (4,158) counties, and New York City (12,103) – “all saw their highest totals of the nine days.”
Myrie said the 5 County Boards of Elections opened a total of 248 early voting sites.
In 2020, he said there will be 27 days of early voting overall – nine each for the Presidential Primary, April 28; the State and Federal Primary, Jun. 23; and the General Election, Nov. 3.