WXXI AM News

NY lets voters get absentee ballots due to virus concerns

Aug 20, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York will allow voters to request absentee ballots for the general election because of coronavirus under a new state law signed Thursday.

Lawmakers passed the bill last month, and voting rights groups have been calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the legislation for weeks.

The governor allowed voters in the June primary to vote by absentee ballots due to fears of spreading the virus at polling sites.

Election officials warn of an even bigger flood of mail-in votes in November than the June primary, which delayed results for six weeks.

Election officers worked through the pandemic to process 1.8 million requests for absentee ballots in a primary that saw nearly 40% of votes cast by absentee votes -- a monumental sum in a state whose long-restrictive absentee voting system involves fewer than 1-in-10 voters in typical elections.