Hans Pennink / AP

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday a new initiative called the Democracy Project to protect the integrity of New York elections. In a release, Cuomo's office says the reform is the "strongest and most comprehensive regulation of online political advertisements."

Why it matters: Election transparency has become a hot-button issue in light of revelations about the way Russian operatives used tech platforms to meddle in last year's general election. Cuomo, who's been rumored as a 2020 candidate, is being vocal about the issue as it picks up steam across the country.

Details: The new initiative will promote transparency around elections by requiring secure election infrastructure to protect against cyber threats, new early voting parameters and automatic and same-day voter registration in New York. Cuomo is also calling for an archived database of all political ads to ensure transparency around paid election messaging.

  • Political ad disclosures: The new initiative will expand New York State's definition of political communication to include paid internet and digital advertisements and will require digital platforms to maintain a public archive of all political ads. It will also amend New York State's definition of political communication to include paid internet and digital advertisements.
  • Cyber protection: The Democracy Project will create an Election Support Center and provide cyber risk vulnerability assessments. It will require New York counties to report data breaches to state authorities
  • Early voting and automatic registration: The effort will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote by instituting early voting in the State through increased access to polling centers up to 12 days before the election. Cuomo will also propose adopting a system that implements automatic voter registration.
  • Same-day voting: This proposal would allow New Yorkers to register and vote on the same day, something voters couldn't do before.

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