Cuomo Signs Election Law Reforms Into Law; Anyone in New York Can Request to Vote by Mail

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By: Staff Reporter

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today signed election reforms into law that he says will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote during the pandemic.

The three-part package includes new measures allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately, permitting a voter to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of contracting COVID-19 and ensuring 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.

(1) Legislation relating to absentee ballot requests (S.8783A/A.10807) authorizes voters to request absentee ballots immediately, adding almost seven weeks to the amount of time a voter has to vote by absentee ballot. This legislation eliminates an outdated statutory provision that prevents voters from requesting absentee ballots until 30 days before Election Day. Cuomo says the legislation gives voters reassurance that they will receive and can cast their vote in a timely manner.

(2) Legislation relating to absentee ballot requests due to risk of illness (S.8015-D/A.10833) gives voters the right to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness to themselves or others.

(3) Legislation relating to ballots postmarked on Election Day (S.8799A/A.10808-A) allows ballots to be postmarked on the day of the election, November 3. The legislation also amends election law to allow the Board of Elections to count all absentee ballots that have a time stamp showing they were delivered to the Board of Elections the day after the election but does not have a dated postmark. The Board of Elections shall deem those ballots mailed in a timely fashion.


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