Now that Republicans have lost their longstanding majority in the New York Senate, New York rushed through several election "reforms" at the beginning of the legislative session, with no committee hearing process or input from the public. The package of legislation* was introduced on January 10, passed the Assembly and Senate on January 14, and was signed by the Governor on January 24. This likely foreshadows how the Democrats will rush House Resolution 1 through the House on the federal level, though fortunately, the Republican majority in the Senate under the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will block its harmful provisions from becoming law on the federal level.
The election reforms require officials to establish 10 days of early voting that wraps up two days before the election and includes two full weekends. Officials must also automatically update people's voter registrations when they move. Both changes will be rolled out in 2019.
Starting in 2020, young people will be permitted to preregister to vote when they are 16 and 17. Once implemented, a person's voter registration will be marked as pending until their 18th birthday, at which point they will be able to vote.
Legislators on Monday also took steps toward implementing same-day voter registration and absentee voting without an excuse, but completing those reform will take years more.
Early voting is expensive, creates additional opportunities for fraud, and is difficult for election officials to administer, while not accomplishing its objective of increasing voter turnout. It has been shown at best to not increase turnout and at worst to decrease turnout. Preregistering 16- and 17-year-olds may seem like a harmless way to increase the engagement of young voters, but in other states where preregistration has been enacted, some future voters have been erroneously registered and allowed to vote. And pre-registration is part of liberals' general effort to lower the voting age to 16 because teenagers are more likely to vote for Democrats.
There was also a major campaign finance change:
[Governor Andrew] Cuomo also closed the LLC loophole, which allowed wealthy individuals to create unlimited numbers of limited liability companies to circumvent the state's campaign contribution limits. Under the new law, LLCs will be subject to same $5,000 contribution limit as corporations. However, there won't be a limit on how many LLCs an individuals can form. But there is a disclosure requirement to reveal who is behind the LLCs.
This is part of New York's long campaign to regulate and suppress political speech. Governor Cuomo, with the backing of the Democratic legislature, has other "reforms" he would like to pass, such as prohibiting corporate contributions and online voter registration, which surely will not be a beneficial form that verifies eligibility and improves the accuracy of the voter registration rolls.
New York's rush to enact election "reforms" and the federal House of Representatives' HR 1 are prime examples of how, when the Democrats gain power, they rush to cater to liberal interests without input from the people they represent or the individuals or entities that will be affected by changes in regulation.
*The legislation package was: A00774 and S01100 (voter pre-registration); A00775 and S01099 (voter registration transfers); A00776 and S01101 (political contributions by limited liability companies); A00779 and S01103 (primary elections and the timely transmission of ballots to military voters stationed overseas); and A00780 and S01102 (early voting).