Voters worried about Covid-19 or other illness will be able to vote by absentee ballot under a three-part package of changes signed into law Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
The package includes new measures allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately and ensures that all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after the Election will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by Nov. 10.
“The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Cuomo said. “These actions will further break down barriers to democracy and will make it easier for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote this November.”
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “Voting access is one of the core foundations of our democracy. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that no New Yorkers feel pressured to put their health and well-being at risk to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. I thank the bill sponsors for advancing this legislation, and my Senate Democratic Majority colleagues for their ongoing commitment to empower New York voters and Governor Cuomo for signing these bills.”
Common Cause/NY said, “Thanks to the Legislature and Governor Cuomo, this coming November New Yorkers will have three safe and secure ways to vote: early, absentee, or on Election Day. The Boards of Elections need more funding but these critical reforms will allow them to plan and execute the most consequential election this century. New York City voters should get ahead of the curve and apply online now for an absentee ballot, or make a plan to vote early starting October 24 – November 1. The rest of the state should be able to apply for an absentee ballot asap. Democracy does not pause.”
Early voting opens Oct. 24 in Suffolk County, with the Station branch of the Huntington Public Library and the Dix Hills Fire Department serving as polling places.
The early voting schedule is: