Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What About the New York Primary?

The New York Democratic Primary is scheduled to take place next month, with election day happening on Tuesday, April 28, preceded by nine days of early voting at 401 State Street.

On Sunday, WAMC reported that Attorney General Tish James has called for a suspension of in-person voting during the upcoming presidential primary to avoid the risk of spreading the coronavirus. "Voters shouldn't have to choose between their health and the right to cast a ballot." She wants all eligible voters to be sent an absentee ballot for the election. 

The obstacle to that is New York State election law requires that, in order to vote absentee, a voter must be absent from the county where they vote on election day, temporarily or permanently ill or physically disabled, or the primary caregiver of someone who is ill or physically disabled.

James stated that the process could be changed "using existing state law and executive order."

Today, Senator Jen Metzger, who represents the 42nd Senate District across the river, announced that she had introduced a bill (S8120) to require the Board of Elections "to create a plan for the use of a vote-by-mail election system during a time of emergency" to allow New Yorkers to cast their June 2020 ballots by mail. Metzer's bill would require the Board of Elections to have a vote-by-mail plan in place by May 1.

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