Absentee Ballot | WAMC

Absentee Ballot

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With Election Day less than three months away and no end to the coronavirus pandemic in sight, election officials in New York are scrambling to handle an expected spike in absentee ballots.

Poll workers wearing masks count ballots
Pat Bradley / WAMC

The June 23 primary was the first in New York to allow all voters the option of casting their ballots by mail. Under an executive order by Governor Andrew Cuomo, registered voters could cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for filling out an absentee ballot. The New York State legislature held a hearing Tuesday on the June primary elections, to find out what went right and what went wrong.

Absentee ballot counting at the Albany County BOE.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Today is one of the strangest primary elections in New York state history. In addition to in-person early voting, polls are open until 9 p.m. for presidential, Congressional, state legislature and local races. But more than 1.7 million New Yorkers requested a mail-in ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic — and ballots can be postmarked as late as today. John Conklin, public information officer for the New York State Board of Elections, tells WAMC’s Ian Pickus that it has been a challenging election to run.

ballot box
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The deadline for submitting school budget ballots by mail in New York has been extended.

Vote Here sign
WAMC photo by Patrick Garrett

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order this week allowing all New Yorkers to participate in the June 23rd primary via absentee ballot. Advocates want state leaders to take things even further to protect voters in the future.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Last night, city council candidates in the city of Plattsburgh met in a League of Women Voters’ forum at city hall. The ward hopefuls were allowed to pose a question to their opponents. In several instances, Republican and Independent candidates took their challengers to task for what they say is an alarming increase in absentee ballot filings.