Stewart-Cousins Backs Silver’s Early Voting, Disclosure Bills

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The head of the Senate Democrats is backing legislation by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that would allow early voting in New York, calling it a “smart approach” that would increase voter turnout.

Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, introduced the legislation in her house today, along with a separate Silver bill that would require more widespread disclosure of donors from politically active non-profits.

Silver’s bill, introduced last week, would allow voting up to two weeks before a general election and one week before a primary in New York. About 30 other states currently allow some form of early voting.

“Early Voting is a smart approach to help increase the number of New Yorkers that take part in the democratic process,” Stewart-Cousins said in a statement today. “The easier we make it for eligible voters to participate the better it is for our democracy.”

Stewart-Cousins’ statement on Silver’s disclosure bill is after the jump.

“Elections should be about the will of the people and not the special interests. Unfortunately, in this election cycle we saw outside groups like Common Sense use unprecedented amounts of money to try to influence election outcomes and drown out the voice of everyday New Yorkers. We need stronger financial disclosure for political advocacy groups. I commend the Speaker for introducing both bills and I have introduced the same bills in the Senate and hope these bills are allowed to come to the floor for a vote.”

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