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Cuomo votes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo votes in the 2017 election. 

Ahead of his State of the State address next month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been rolling out a variety of proposals for the 2018 legislative session.

We see great potential with some, but the true test is not whether the governor can roll them out in a December press announcement, but whether he and his administration will put forth the time and energy needed in January through June to get them passed and signed into law.

One such proposal that fits squarely into that category is Cuomo's electoral reforms package.

The governor is calling on the state Assembly and Senate to adopt a series of measures that would ultimately bring more accountability and access to the way elections are conducted in New York state.

Cuomo is calling for more transparency with digital advertising efforts, a needed response to the flood of shadowy "marketing" campaigns aimed at influencing voters, sometimes with false information.

He also wants to boost access to the polls by establishing early voting periods, as well as automatic online and same-day registration. Too many people who would like to vote face easy-to-remove obstacles in New York; these measurs can help fix that problem.

All of these are not new ideas, but they've floundered in Albany in past years often because they have not been prioritized by the leadership in the executive and legislative branches.

This year needs to different. At a time when the integrity of elections is under considerable scrutiny around the nation, New York should be a leader in reform. As of today, though, our state is actually behind the times.

In 2018, Cuomo can make an important mark by pushing this state forward on electoral reform.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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