On Monday, New York Democrats quickly made the most of their newfound control over the state legislature after the 2018 elections to pass a series of proposals to turn New York from one of the worst states for voting access into one of the best. Democrats approved several bills that would create an early-voting period of 10 days before Election Day, including both weekends before Election Day; consolidate the state's unique separate state and congressional primaries to save money and increase turnout; automatically update voters' registration when they move within the state; let 16- and 17-year-olds "pre-register" so they're automatically on the rolls when they turn 18; and close a loophole that let limited liability corporations give unlimited donations to candidates.
Furthermore, Democrats passed two state constitutional amendments to enable voters to register on the same day they cast a ballot, including Election Day itself, and also remove the requirement of an excuse to be able to cast an absentee mail ballot. These changes must pass the legislature again after the 2020 elections before they can go to the voters for approval in a referendum to amend the state constitution.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has previously voiced his support, meaning these statutory measures are almost certain to become law. In addition, there are ongoing efforts to pass a separate automatic voter registration bill. Once Cuomo signs these latest bills, and if voters approve the eventual constitutional amendments, voting in New York will become much more accessible, which should in turn raise the state's well-below-average turnout rate.