freeimages.com/Kristen Price

With concerns about whether recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service will keep mailed absentee ballots from getting counted in time, State Sen. Brad Hoylman is suggesting an alternative.

The New York City Democrat wants to authorize local boards of elections to set up absentee drop-off boxes so voters can circumvent the post office.

The boxes are used in other states that have all-mail in voting, but they don't exist right now in New York. That would require legislation, due to chain of custody and security issues.

The June 23 primary was the first in New York to allow all voters the option of casting their ballots by mail. Under an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, registered voters could cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for filling out an absentee ballot.

The New York State Legislature held a hearing Tuesday on the primary elections to find out what went right and what went wrong.

Can we hold reliable elections during a pandemic? In June, New York State will hold primary and special elections. November is, of course, the general election. The pandemic means there will be voting from home, voting by mail, and new ways of trying to get out the vote. But will voting be truly accessible to all?

Our guests discuss this vital issue:

New York’s Democratic presidential primary is back on now that a judge has thrown out a decision by the state Board of Elections to cancel the election. The board had acted after Bernie Sanders dropped out, leaving Joe Biden as the only candidate on the ballot.

A federal judge ruled late Tuesday that canceling the presidential primary is unconstitutional. Even though the other candidates, including Sanders, have dropped out of the race, their delegates are still on the ballot. 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called for a national election, which will happen in six weeks. Imagine that: a national election campaign that goes from start to finish in less than two months. In the United States, the campaign is essentially endless, with official campaign events running for two years.

Which system is better? Which is more productive in allowing the population to choose a leader? Our guests weigh in:

  • Rob Shum, a Canadian who serves as a professor of public policy at the College at Brockport
  • Paul Hypolite, an American who serves as a political strategist
  • Anthony Plonczynski-Figueroa, an American who serves as a political consultant and founder of LaCumbre

New York’s senior U.S. senator said that he will push for legislation in the upcoming federal budget to provide funds for local boards of elections to harden their security against potential threats by foreign governments. 

Ranked-choice voting is popular in other parts of the voting world, but not in the United States. That could change, if voter advocacy groups get their way. So how does it work? What are the possible advantages or disadvantages to ranked-choice voting? Would it change the outcome of presidential or other elections?

Our guests debate it:

  • Seth O'Bryan, teacher at the Harley School
  • Tim Kneeland, chair of the department of history and political science at Nazareth College
  • Jesse Lenney, western region political director for New York Working Families

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York State has moved its fall 2018 primary election date back two days so it doesn't interfere with the anniversary of 9/11 or the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he has signed into law a measure moving the date of the primary election from Tuesday, Sept. 11 to Thursday, Sept. 13.

Lawmakers approved the date change earlier this month.

Todd Baxter, who recently left a position with the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester after a long career in law enforcement, is expected to announce on Saturday that he is a candidate for Monroe County Sheriff.

Speculation about his interest in the seat now held by Republican Patrick O’Flynn has been heating up since Baxter left his position as executive director of the Veterans Outreach Center last month.

Prior to his three-year stint at the VOC, Baxter was Greece Police Chief for four years and also served more than 20 years with the Rochester Police Department.


Republican Party Chairmen of the three counties in the 133rd NYS Assembly District have chosen someone to replace Bill Nojay on the ballot, after the incumbent died by suicide last Friday.

The chairs of the GOP in Monroe, Livingston and Steuben on Wednesday night picked former State Assemblyman Joe Errigo to be on the ballot.

The chairmen made that decision in Geneseo since Nojay won Tuesday’s primary over challenger Rick Milne. That meant the GOP leaders had a limited window of time to pick a replacement.