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Officials say voter law changes would encourage more participation

Chris Caya WBFO News

Rules that restrict New York residents from voting in Tuesday's primary "defy logic," according to Assemblyman Sean Ryan. He is co-sponsoring a bill with Senator Tim Kennedy that would streamline the state's nearly 90-year-old law. Kennedy says it requires changing party affiliation six months in advance.

"By October 9 of last year, if you wanted to vote for a primary in the election this spring, that's when you would have had to have changed your party vote and your party enrollment and affiliation. That's not only absurd it's absolutely unacceptable," Kennedy said at a Friday morning news conference.

Assemblyman Ryan agrees.

"Under the current law, people have been shut out of the presidential primary process if they missed the October deadline. Well, most people in New York did not even become interested in the presidential primaries until well past October. So there's a big portion of the population that wants to participate next Tuesday and because of our arcane laws, they are not allowed to," Ryan said.  

The proposed legislation has the backing of the New York Public Interest Group.