Gotham Gazette

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absentee voting

absentee voting

  • 8piecesofleg

    Make sure to sign your ballot (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Among a package of changes to New York state election law passed since the chaotic June primaries is a provision that requires the Board of Elections to notify voters when their absentee ballots are on the verge of being thrown out and give them a chance to correct certain potential disqualifications. Designed to ensure possibly tens of thousands of intended votes are actually counted, the “curing” mandate applies to a handful of often disenfranchising technicalities, but the newborn steps may add a

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  • press conf barclays

    Council Member Laurie Cumbo at an election promotion event (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    An October 5 staffing report from the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) to state regulators shows a scramble to prepare for the general election less than a month before Election Day.

    The BOE was over a month late to submit the plan, which was required by Governor Andrew Cuomo through executive order to ensure local election administrators had the necessary

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  • presidential state city

    New Yorkers soon head to the polls (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The 2020 general election results in New York City may not be known until mid-December, six weeks after Election Day, according to Michael Ryan, the executive director of the New York City Board of Elections.

    Ryan told members of the New York City Council Friday that New Yorkers could expect election results between December 8 and 15, around the same length of time it took in the primaries but ages beyond the unofficial results New Yorkers have come to expect on election

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  • kings abs oath envelope pg2b

    Part of the new absentee ballot envelope design


    The New York State Board of Elections has approved a new design for absentee ballot envelopes to be used statewide in the upcoming general election. The new layout, mandated by Governor Andrew Cuomo in an executive order, is intended to make it more obvious where a voter needs to provide a signature in order to have the ballot accepted by elections administrators under state law and avoid mass disqualification of absentee ballots as New York saw during the June primaries.

    The

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  • 3 how election official

    "Every Vote Counts" (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography)


    While New Yorkers have come to expect challenges in the voting process, they’ve also come to expect "unofficial election night results" rolling in in the hours after polls close -- a tradition that sometimes entails staying up late to find out the winner of a close race, or waking up the next day to a new leader-elect who had been only a hopeful when voters went to the polls.

    But with the unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots for the June primary this year, some races took

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  • passed prop what

    Inspecting voting equipment (photo: Senator Michael Gianaris)


    The June 2020 primaries in New York were an unusually thick morass of bureaucratic challenges as the city and state election systems shifted to a mostly-mail-in format amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

    In New York City more than 80,000 mail-in ballots were disqualified on technical grounds -- a full fifth of the 400,000-plus ballots cast that way and a tenth of the total. Tens of thousands of ballots were either sent out late by the New York City Board of Elections or never delivered to voters who

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  • participate electoral college

    Electors to the Electoral College voting in Albany (photo: governor's office)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of the

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  • rosenthal absentee ballot mailbox

    Voting absentee (photo: @HelenRosenthal)


    A law passed by the New York City Council in 2016 could have helped prevent some of the many problems plaguing the absentee ballot process from the June 2020 primary elections. But that law was never implemented by the New York City Board of Elections, a quasi-state agency that routinely refuses to abide by local mandates.

    The June primaries saw a record number of absentee ballots cast by voters, facilitated by an executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo that mandated that local boards of

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  • in person voting pandemic

    In-person voting during a pandemic (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    We should never have to decide between public health and democracy. We must have both.

    We hoped that voter suppression was a thing of the past, and yet it is still present not just in the South but in the South Bronx and across the country.

    We are witnessing a public health and democratic crisis that must be addressed immediately—otherwise, lives will be taken as electoral gains are also stolen.  

    In short, the coronavirus crisis has cast a light on the deteriorating health of

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  • boe nyc votes table pandemic

    Voting during a pandemic (photo: @NYCVotes)


    Ahead of a special state legislative session set for next week, a coalition of election reform advocates is backing ten bills that would change or codify elements of the now widely-used absentee voting process before the fall general election.

    The agenda, released Thursday by the Let NY Vote coalition, comes amid party primary elections where the voting is over but the counting

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  • 3 mount kisco gov

    Voting has changed dramatically in New York (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    As hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots are being counted more than two weeks after the June 23 primary elections, state lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow absentee voters to track their ballots and would require election administrators to provide an individual explanation when a ballot is disqualified.

    The latest effort to pass the legislation, which was first introduced in 2013, comes amid an unprecedented increase in absentee voting due to

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  • voter turnout New York City 2020 primaries absentee

    The absentee vote could trump the in-person vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Board of Elections is reporting that over 765,000 absentee ballots were distributed to voters before primary day, June 23, vastly exceeding a tally of in-person votes in the Democratic presidential primary, which came to 471,000, with 96% of election precincts reporting.

    The number of absentee ballots returned is not

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  • absentee ballot instructions kimmosc

    Absentee voting is complicatd (image via @kimmosc)


    NOTE - 10/16/2020: You likely arrived here looking for information about absentee voting in the 2020 general election in New York. The article further down below was originally published before the June primaries, but we’ve added an update here at the top  - some of the steps are the same but there are several important changes to be aware of:

    All

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  • voting in new york during coronavirus

    What voters need to know to vote in June (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The images of Wisconsin voters standing in line last month starkly illustrated how COVID-19 has triggered a health emergency for our democracy. Here in New York, elections have been postponed or canceled in response to the pandemic. We are taking the first steps towards voting in a new way, via mail-in absentee ballots. With all of these rapid changes, it is no wonder voters are confused about what steps they can take to cast a vote safely and help maintain the

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  • cuomo announces

    All voters will get an absentee application for the June elections (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, April 24 signed an executive order mandating that the State Board of Elections send every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot application with paid postage to facilitate voting in elections slated for June 23 without increasing the risk of

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  • 1 good advo

    Voting in New York is undergoing major shifts, with more possibly to come (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Amid reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to allow or require voting by mail for all New Yorkers in primary and special elections set for June 23, government reform advocates have raised concerns that the measure could end up adversely affecting the election, while the State Republican Party has promised to sue if the governor follows through.

    The coronavirus pandemic has forced several delays in the state’s election calendar and in-person voting

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  • Cuomo voting New York

    Gov. Cuomo votes, in person (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that he will use his executive authority to allow all New Yorkers to vote by absentee ballot for the June 23 elections, to prevent long lines at the polls that could put people at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. Elections that day will include party primaries for many seats and special elections open to all voters within the relevant districts.

    “I've seen lines of people on television voting in other states.

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  • mbdb flcm co

    Major questions about voting during coronavirus hang in the balance (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the American people hunker down under a patchwork of evolving emergency orders and health directives, our communities are grappling with extraordinary circumstances disrupting and reorienting our lives and the economy. To flatten the curve of community spread during the increasingly deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo has placed New York on PAUSE; Health officials have issued stay-at-home and social distancing directives; schools, playgrounds, and non-essential

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