Assemblymember Hunter to Governor: Early Voting and Closing LLC Loophole are Vital to Our Democracy

January 12, 2018

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter (D-Syracuse) recently sent a letter to Governor Cuomo urging him to prioritize early voting and the closing of the limited liability corporation (LLC) loophole in the 2018-19 state budget.

“The key to strengthening our democracy is ensuring that our elections are truly fair and transparent and that means giving each person an equal voice,” said Hunter. “That’s why I’m urging the governor to focus on early voting and closing the LLC loophole in this year’s budget. Raising voters’ voices is the first rung on the ladder to stronger government and progress for our communities.”

Early voting gives people more opportunities to vote ahead of Election Day. Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia offer early voting. The Assembly has passed bills establishing early voting, but efforts have continually stalled in the state Senate. While opponents cite unfunded costs as a primary barrier, notably for smaller and more rural counties, early voting can be offered in these areas with minimal expense, but we need the governor to support it in his budget, Hunter noted.

“With so many New Yorkers juggling jobs, family and other obligations, early voting gives more people access to a critical civic right,” said Hunter. “There are cost-effective ways to establish early voting so everyone’s voice can be heard.”

Hunter is also pushing to close the LLC loophole in order to bring more transparency and fairness to elections. Currently, LLCs are treated as individuals by the state Board of Elections, allowing powerful special interests to donate unlimited funds to candidates under the guise of one or more of these companies. Closing the loophole would treat LLCs like any other corporation, imposing the same contribution limits to prevent this abuse of the system.

These measures are part of Hunter’s continued efforts to strengthen the election process and ensure power is really in the hands of the people. Last year, Hunter’s legislation allowing poll workers to split shifts was signed into law (Ch. 293 of 2017).