Albany lawmakers pass reform to hold election season sooner

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YONKERS -

The usual September primary day for state and local officials could soon be a thing of the past.

Legislators in Albany passed historic election reform this week establishing early voting, same-day voter registration and mandating all primary elections be held in June to coincide with the federal election cycle.

The sweeping legislation, pushed through by the new Democratic-led Legislature, also allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote. It also closes loopholes and puts limits on limited liability contributions.

Longtime Westchester Democratic strategist Mark Oxman likes the reforms, but believes the bills could have unintended consequences because they are slated to go into effect this year with little notice at all.

It will be a busy 2019 election year in the Hudson Valley. There will be mayoral races in Yonkers, New Rochelle and Mount Vernon.  All Board of Legislators' seats are up as well.

Officials there have formed a new task force to determine how the laws will affect their own elections this year and potentially the county charter.

The chairman at the county Board of Elections tells News 12 they don't have a plan yet on how to deal with the new election laws, but they may be forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on new voting equipment.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn't signed the legislation yet, so it’s still possible there could be changes before they become law.

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