Editorial: Election Reform


What a difference an election makes. The anti-Trump Democratic tide that rattled Republicans all over the country in November and returned the House of Representatives to Democratic control also wrestled the New York State Assembly from Republican dominance.

What has that meant?

For one thing, the state is finally implementing some simple reforms to make registering and voting a little easier: consolidating all primaries on one day in June; requiring polling places to be open for nine days ahead of an election to allow for early voting; and automatic transfer of a voter’s registration when he or she moved between counties in the state.

The legislature also passed constitutional amendments that won’t take effect until they pass them again in 2020 and voters approve in a referendum: a “no questions asked” policy for voters who want an absentee ballot and “same day” voter registration.

Assembly Republicans blocked these obvious reforms for years. Why? The only answer is that Republicans feared that more Democrats than Republicans would take advantage of them which means they feared democracy itself.