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Cuomo signs legislation extending deadline to submit absentee ballots to day of election

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Mon, Jun 8th 2020 09:50 am

Issues executive order extending deadline to submit school budget ballots

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday signed legislation (S.8130-D/A.10516-A) extending the deadline to submit absentee ballots until the day of the election. To be counted, primary ballots must be postmarked by June 23. The governor previously issued executive orders allowing all New Yorkers to vote absentee in the June 23 primary elections and ensuring every New Yorker registered to vote receives a postage-paid absentee ballot application in the mail.

He also announced he would issue an executive order extending the deadline for school districts to receive school budget ballots. To be counted, school budget ballots can be accepted by hand delivery through 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, and received by mail through June 16 by the school district.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world, and while we are making great progress and the numbers keep going down, no New Yorker should have to choose between their health and their right to vote," Cuomo said. "Extending the deadline to submit absentee ballots builds on our previous executive orders to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote absentee in the upcoming primary election and it will help to increase voter participation as we continue to fight this virus."

New York State Sen. Zellnor Myrie said, "After we've seen upwards of 23,000 New Yorkers die, we made the decision that their constitutional right to vote should not be impeded by a pandemic, that democracy, even in a pandemic, should survive. That is what this bill is about. New Yorkers should not be impeded from picking their leaders because of this pandemic. Participating in your democracy is about picking the leaders who you want to lead us through this crisis."

Assembly Member Aravella Simotas said, "Everyone can agree that elections should be fair and open to everyone. The coronavirus pandemic has forced us to reexamine how we administer elections in the great state of New York. It has also challenged us to put political differences aside and think about the collective while answering a simple question: How do we build a more perfect union? Expanding the use of absentee ballots and permitting New Yorkers to vote from home was an obvious answer, but a challenging endeavor.

“It is my hope that moving forward, we can build on the mechanisms we created for this year. I am grateful that Gov. Cuomo led the charge by executive order to start this trend, and look forward to working with him to codify these provisions into the law permanently as we move forward. Excelsior."

In response, New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider said, “The governor’s forthcoming executive order which extends the time for school districts to receive absentee ballots by mail through June 16 will help those districts that, through no fault of their own, faced problems with vendors in getting absentee ballots out on time. However, in extending the deadline for every school district, the executive order will likely cause confusion among voters in districts that did not face supply chain issues, thereby adding to what has been an extremely frustrating, costly and cumbersome board election and school budget vote process.

The New York State School Boards Association represents more than 670 school boards and more than 5,200 school board members in New York.

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