County governments are breathing a sigh of relief after the state Division of Budget this week approved $10 million to support the implementation of early voting this year.

This is the first year early voting will be held in the state after lawmakers in January approved the legislation.

The measure requires 10 days of early voting the concludes two days before the election and includes two full weekends.

But the money for the changes was not initially released to the county governments that administer local elections.

That changed Thursday after the Division of Budget approved the spending.

“There was never any question that the full $10 million to support early voting would be made available, and the full amount has been approved today,” said New York State Budget Director Robert F. Mujica, Jr. “We look forward to the expanded access to the polls that early voting will provide voters this fall.”

Funding is split over two pots of money: $14.7 million is being used for capital equipment, with the $10 million use to reimburse local elections boards for implementation costs.

“Voting is one of the most important rights and responsibilities of Americans, enabling citizens to have a voice in their government and engage in the democratic process of electing leaders,” said Stephen J. Acquario, the executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.

“The election reforms passed by state lawmakers this year, including early voting, will provide greater access for New Yorkers as they head to the polls. As counties gear up to open early voting sites in just under 60 days, we are grateful to New York State and Budget Director Mujica for committing vital funding for early voting implementation costs. These state resources are necessary to ensure smooth and accessible elections in communities across the state.”