Voters cast their ballots during the 2018 midterm election in New York. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

New York's Democratic-controlled state legislature on Monday swiftly passed a slew of electoral reform measures that will roll back some of the state’s arcane voting laws and increase access to the ballot box.

Why it matters: New York purports itself as the country's progressive capital. But it has some of the nation's most restrictive voting laws, which depress voter turnout and routinely rank the state among those with the lowest turnout rates.

The sweeping package of voting bills, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to sign into law, will put the state on par with others, including some red states that have enacted similar reforms in recent years.

The measures passed on Monday would:

  • Designate an early voting period 10 days before Election Day.
  • Consolidate election primary dates. Last year, it was the only state that held separate federal and state primary elections.
  • Automatically update voter registrations when residents move.
  • Allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

Lawmakers also started the process of amending the state constitution to allow same-day voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting by mail.

Between the lines: This comes as Democrats, who took control of the state Senate in last year's midterm for the first time in a decade, assume full control of both legislative chambers and the governor’s seat. For years, Democrats have failed push through their priorities amid GOP opposition .

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Pelosi, Schumer demand postmaster general reverse USPS cuts ahead of election

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter to Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on Thursday calling for the recent Trump appointee to reverse operational changes to the U.S. Postal Service that "threaten the timely delivery of mail" ahead of the 2020 election.

Why it matters: U.S. mail and election infrastructure are facing a test like no other this November, with a record-breaking number of mail-in ballots expected as Americans attempt to vote in the midst of a pandemic.

CRISPR co-discoverer on the gene editor's pandemic push

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Brian Ach/Getty Images for Wired and BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating the development of CRISPR-based tests for detecting disease — and highlighting how gene-editing tools might one day fight pandemics, one of its discoverers, Jennifer Doudna, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Testing shortages and backlogs underscore a need for improved mass testing for COVID-19. Diagnostic tests based on CRISPR — which Doudna and colleagues identified in 2012, ushering in the "CRISPR revolution" in genome editing — are being developed for dengue, Zika and other diseases, but a global pandemic is a proving ground for these tools that hold promise for speed and lower costs.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 18,912,947 — Total deaths: 710,318— Total recoveries — 11,403,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5 p.m. ET: 4,867,916 — Total deaths: 159,841 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP over stimulus negotiations: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Majority of Americans say states reopened too quicklyFauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: The health care sector imploded in Q2More farmers are declaring bankruptcyJuly's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.