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Hochul signs controversial bill moving local elections to state, federal years in bid to increase turnout

In a move aimed at increasing voter participation Governor Kathy Hochul signed a bill on Friday that shifts many local elections to even-numbered years. This change aligns these elections with state and federal races.

Hochul expressed her belief that this alignment will expand access to voting and promote a more inclusive democracy. While the legislation received backing from Democrats and various government groups, it faced opposition from the state Association of Counties and several Republican lawmakers.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The legislation, however, does not encompass city or village elections and certain other positions, such as county clerks, judges, or sheriffs, which are constitutionally mandated to occur in odd-numbered years. This means town supervisor, town board, or county legislator races will happen in even-numbered years.

Governor Hochul also voiced support for a future constitutional amendment that would standardize the timing of all elections.