With just two days before school budget votes and elections, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is extending the deadline to submit absentee ballots.
The governor announced Sunday he will issue an executive order to extend the deadline for school districts to receive school budget ballots. In order to be counted, school budget ballots can be accepted by hand delivery through 5 PM on June 9, the date the vote was rescheduled due to COVID-19. If the ballot is being mailed in, the school district must receive it by June 16.
There has been confusion surrounding the process, and with the U. S. Postal Service seemingly overwhelmed, many were concerned their vote would not be counted. Cuomo had said on Friday he was considering an extension. Many districts set up secured drop boxes outside of the school so that voters can drop off their ballot instead of mailing them in.
Cuomo also signed legislation extending the deadline absentee ballots must be received for the Democratic primary election — they must now be postmarked by June 23. The governor previously issued executive orders allowing all New Yorkers to vote absentee in the June 23 primary elections, ensuring every New Yorker registered to vote receives a postage-paid absentee ballot application in the mail.
“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 in a statement Sunday afternoon. “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.”