SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — New York’s primary election is still more than two months away, and there is no way yet to know if COVID-19 restrictions on workplaces and gatherings will still be in effect.
But the state is taking steps to ensure voters who want to cast a ballot can, even if they do not want to enter a polling place.
The Onondaga County Board of Elections and boards in all of New York’s counties are preparing for the use of more absentee ballots, after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that he would allow any voter who wishes, to use an absentee ballot for the primary scheduled for June 23.
On that date, there will be a Democratic Presidential Primary. Even though Bernie Sanders has dropped out, his name remains on the ballot, along with Joe Biden.
There will also be primaries, depending on your county, for congressional, state legislature and local races in multiple political parties.
In Onondaga County, there is even a special election for all voters in the 50th Senate District to fill a vacancy.
To vote by absentee ballot, you must download the absentee ballot request form, fill it out, and mail it in.
The absentee ballots will be mailed to voters in mid-May, and must be postmarked by June 22, or dropped off at the board of elections or a polling place by election day.
We spoke to Onondaga County’s Elections Commissioners Michele Sardo (R) and Dustin Czarny (D) who are awaiting more details from the governor’s executive orders.
The commissioners note that voters who want to avoid going to the polls to protect themselves from COVID-19 should check the box on the absentee ballot request where it says ‘Temporary Illness or Disability’ and then follow the instructions for mailing it to the board.
Because there will likely be more absentee ballots than normal, the outcome of some races may not be know on the night of June 23, since the absentees are not opened until ten days after the election.
One note unrelated to absentee ballots.
Sardo and Czarny want voters to be aware of a yellow card received with information about polling sites that lists the Presidential Primary as being held on April 28. The governor moved that date to June 23 after the cards were already delivered to the Postal Service.
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