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Cuomo issues executive order to 'bolster and support New Yorkers' right to vote

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Mon, Aug 24th 2020 05:30 pm

Executive order requires county boards of elections to take concrete steps to properly inform voters & provide adequate voting options

Order requires county boards to inform state of election staffing needs, use uniform stationary for absentee ballots & ensure absentee ballots can be used in village elections

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday issued an executive order to “bolster and support New Yorkers' right to vote.” The order requires county boards of elections to take concrete steps to inform voters of upcoming deadlines, be prepared for upcoming elections and help ensure absentee ballots can be used in all elections. On Aug. 20, Cuomo signed into law election reforms designed to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November.

"This election is going to be one of the most critical in modern history. It will be controversial. You already hear the statements questioning the vote, and the accuracy of the vote, and mail-in ballots. We want to make sure that every vote is counted; every voice is heard and that it's fair and right and accurate," Cuomo said. "I'm issuing today's executive order because we want boards of elections to count votes efficiently and we want them to get it right, but we want it done in a timely manner. We don't want to hear after-the-fact excuses."

The executive order requires county boards of elections to take the following actions:

√ Send a mailing outlining all deadlines for voters by Tuesday, Sept. 8.

√ Send staffing plans and needs to the New York State Board of Elections by Sept. 20 so BOE can assist in ensuring adequate coverage.

√ Adopt a uniform clarified envelope for absentee ballots and require counties to use it.

√ Count votes faster: Require all objections to be made by the county board in real time, make sure boards are ready to count votes and reconcile affidavit and absentee ballots by 48 hours after elections.

√ Provide an option for New Yorkers to vote absentee in village, town and special district elections.

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