Early voting has started in the Congressional primary contests. Voter turnout is expected to be very light. NYS and Westchester County could do more to encourage more voter participation in all contested elections.
I suggest that NYS do what was done during the height of t he pandemic –send everyone an automatic absentee ballot request that could be returned in a postage paid envelope. NYS should encourage people to vote by mail–even when a person is in town. Mailing in a ballot to the Board of Elections should not cost the voter a penny.
In addition, NYS and Westchester County should place absentee/mail ballot drop boxes in every municipal building, fire house, library, park. Although NYS now allows voting ten days before election day, the locations are not convenient for everyone. And, voter turnout in our area continues to be poor in most elections.
In 2021 the state of George reduced ballot drop box access in places that used them the most. The action received national attention and criticism. The state leaders were condemned for taking action to discourage voter access. Georgia still has drop boxes. In Westchester and in much of NYS there are none. And –our state is supposed to be progressive.
Having drop boxes at numerous locations during election time would encourage more voter participation. And decrease the travel time for those who vote. During the pandemic drop boxes were used across the nation to encourage voters to vote safely. Even before the pandemic they were popular for voters.
The upcoming Congressional primaries probably will see a very low turnout. NYS could be doing much more to encourage voter participation.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor