Silver Pushes Early Voting, Disclosure in New Bills

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Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants New York to become the 33rd state to allow voters to cast their ballot before Election Day.

Under a new bill proposed by Silver, New Yorkers would be able to vote beginning 14 days prior to a general election and one week before a primary election.

Each county would be required to open five polling places during the early voting period, with each required to be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., including Saturdays and Sundays.

Another Silver bill introduced today would target charitable organizations spending money on political campaigns.

The bill would target so-called “independent expenditures” by 501c4s and require the groups to disclose their fundraising and spending, much like candidates have to do as they’re running for office.

“These proposals would give New York’s voters a far stronger voice and help level the playing field in the electoral process,” Silver said in a statement. “Our elections must be fair, open, honest and accessible, and encourage as many citizens to vote as possible.

The 501c4 issue has already grabbed the attention of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who regulates charities in New York. Schneiderman earlier this month proposed regulations that would apply to groups spending more than $10,000 on elections in New York.

(AP Photo)

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