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Village, school board elections postponed

Sat, May 2nd 2020 10:40 am

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order postponed village and school board elections. The former will now take place Sept. 15, while the latter was pushed to June 9.

Pursuant to executive order 202.26:

•Any village election previously scheduled to be held in March, April, May, or June 2020 will be held on Sept. 15.

•For any village election scheduled to be held on Sept. 15, as directed by this executive order, all party nominations shall be made by party caucus, which may be conducted remotely as set forth by the chair of such party, and which shall be held not later than Aug. 20, and provided that a certificate of nomination from such caucus and any certificates of declination or acceptance shall be filed not later than Aug. 22, and provided that, once a certificate of declination is submitted, no substitutions shall be permitted.

•All independent nominations for a village election previously scheduled prior to September, now to be held on Sept. 15, shall be postponed until such time as “New York State on PAUSE” is suspended, subject to a process determined by a future executive order. 

•Any village election postponed by executive order originally scheduled for a date in March, April, May or June for which the ballot was fully determined at the time of this executive order shall proceed with the same ballot as would have been used at such prior election, and if such ballots were already printed, such ballots may be used at the Sept. 15 election, despite containing thereon the original date of the election. 

•Any provision of the election law or village law otherwise applicable to the manner of conducting such an election in March, April, May or June, shall apply to the date of the Sept. 15 election.

•Village officials elected at a rescheduled election held on Sept. 15 shall assume office as soon as the statement of canvass is filed with the village clerk pursuant to section 15-126 of the election law or certified by the board of election, and the term of office of such officers shall end as if they had been elected at the time of the originally scheduled election.

•Any village election previously postponed by executive order for which ballot access was not completed at the time of such suspension shall be conducted solely in accordance with the ballot access provisions applicable to the Sept. 15 election.

•Section 8-406 that is modified to the extent that any absentee ballot sent to a voter for a primary or special election to be held on June 23 shall be provided with a postage-paid return envelope.

As for school board elections:

•Sections 1804, 1906, 2002, 2022, 2601-a of the education law, to the extent necessary, to provide that the annual district meeting and election of every common, union free, central and central high school district and the annual meeting of every city school district in a city having a population of less than 125,000 inhabitants was scheduled to be held on the third Tuesday of May is hereby adjourned and rescheduled until June 9, which shall be deemed the statewide uniform voting day.

•Sections 2018-a and 2018-b of the education law are hereby modified, only for the purpose of any election held on or before June 30, to require every eligible voter be sent an absentee ballot with a postage-paid return envelope.

In a press release, Cuomo’s team said these decisions were made, “In an effort to keep New Yorkers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The governor said, "We've made great progress to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but we still don't know when this pandemic will end and we don't want to undo all the work we've already done to flatten the curve. We don't want to put New Yorkers in a situation where they are possibly putting their health at risk, so we are delaying school board elections and conducting them by mail, and delaying all local special district and village elections to help limit any unnecessary exposure to this virus among both voters and poll workers."

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