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Cuomo signs bills rolling back New York's restrictive voting laws

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images

In one of the most significant legislative victories for voting rights in decades, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a series of sweeping election reform bills Thursday to curtail some of the state’s antiquated voting laws and expand access to the ballot box.

Why it matters: Despite its progressive reputation, New York's voter turnout rate consistently ranks among the lowest in the nation. The new Democratic-controlled legislature passed a package of measures this month that includes early voting, pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds, same-day registration, no excuse absentee voting and consolidation of federal and state primary dates.