Cuomo signs Metzger bill on extended primary hours

Democratic voters in Sullivan, Ulster and 47 other New York counties will get an additional six hours to vote in the presidential primary next April under a bill sponsored by Sen. Jen Metzger that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed on Wednesday.

The Metzger bill corrected an oversight in language in this year’s state budget that moved the poll-opening time for primaries in all upstate counties from noon to 6 a.m., the same as it was in New York City, the suburbs, and Orange and a few other counties further north. But the effective date fell two days after New York’s April 28 presidential primary. The bill signed Wednesday by Cuomo fixed that problem simply by backing up the effective date by five days.

“Voters in Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware, and other upstate counties should have the same access to the polls that voters in New York City and other counties have,” Metzger, a Rosendale Democrat, said in a press release. “We have a very important Presidential primary coming up in 2020, and I’m glad that this legislation is no longer being delayed.”

Senators voted 60-2 for the bill in June, followed by a 114-34 Assembly vote with more Republican opposition in that chamber.

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