Thursday, August 20, 2020

Voting in November

There has been justified concern about cutbacks in the U.S. Postal Service and the impact of those cuts and slowdowns on voting by mail in this November's election. Although it concerned us all, it actually wasn't something that would impact most of us in New York, because, up until today, the only people who could vote by mail were those who qualified for absentee ballots. The usual reasons for requesting an absentee ballot are these:
  • absence from county or New York City on Election Day
  • temporary illness or physical disability
  • permanent illness or physical disability
  • duties related to primary care of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled
  • resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital
  • detention in jail/prison, awaiting trial, awaiting action by a grand jury, or in prison for a conviction or offense which was not a felony
Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing all registered voters in New York to request an absentee ballot. As was the case for the primary election, concern about COVID-19 is an acceptable reason to request an absentee ballot. The legislation also requires that all Boards of Elections must count all ballots postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3) and received within seven days after Election Day and all ballots without a postmark received on November 4 (the day after Election Day).

Here are your options for voting in this year's election:

Mail-in Voting  Request an absentee ballot (you can do that here) and return your ballot by mail, making sure it is postmarked on or before November 3), or hand deliver your ballot to the Board of Elections by November 4 (the day after election day).

Early Voting  There will be nine days of early voting prior to November 3. The single polling place in the county for early voting is 401 State Street. The hours for voting on those nine days are these:
  • Saturday, October 24, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 25, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Monday, October 26, noon to 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 27, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 28, noon to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 29, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Friday, October 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 31, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 1, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Voting on Election Day  As always, you can vote on November 3 at your usual polling place from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

There are many ways to do it and no excuse for not doing it. Vote.


1 comment:

  1. One, modest but important way to be of service to a full and fair election this November is to sign up to be a Columbia County Election Inspector. Training is required, but is not onerous. And Inspectors are paid. This is a good practical, on-the-ground way for anyone of any age to support the right to vote. Yes, there is a COVID risk/reward question. The County Board of Elections has established distancing and other safety protocols. The Inspector ranks were badly depleted in the June Primary. Let's change that. Be an essential worker for democracy. Ginna has served as an inspector for years. This November, I will join her -- and you?