Elections commissioners blast funding cuts for early voting

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GOSHEN – With less than two months before the first early voting in a general election in New York to begin, Orange County’s elections commissioners say the state budget department is withholding 80 percent of the money allotted to counties by law.

Democratic Elections Commissioner Louise Vandemark and Republican Commissioner David Green, Friday, said that would cut the $220,713 provided to just $60,000.

“This is a huge blow to the voters of Orange County, resulting in confusion,” the commissioners said in a joint statement. “Where multiple sites were to be provided to offer greater access, now voters may have to travel greater distances to cast a ballot during early voting and thus resulting in longer lines at overburdened poll sites.”

They blasted Albany saying, “Where support had been provided, it was quickly stripped away and now the full burden of the unfunded mandate of early voting will fall to the taxpayers of Orange County to bear.”

The law, adopted earlier this year, required a minimum of four early voting sites in Orange County, but the state grant would have provided for seven sites to increase accessibility for the voters.

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