Cuomo Extends Deadline For Mail-In School Budget Ballots

Michael Woyton

NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Sunday extending the deadline for school districts to receive school budget ballots. To be counted, he said the ballots can be accepted by hand delivery through 5 p.m. Tuesday or received by mail through June 16 by the school district.

Cuomo said that no New Yorker in the midst of the new coronavirus pandemic should have to choose between their health and their right to vote.

"Extending the deadline to submit absentee ballots builds on our previous executive orders to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote absentee in the upcoming primary election and it will help to increase voter participation as we continue to fight this virus," he said.

Cuomo had originally mandated the districts hold their June 9 budget and school board election completely by mail, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Every registered voters was supposed to receive a ballot and a prepaid return envelope by mail.

Some school districts had found that their vendors, who were to print and mail the ballots to voters, were unable to meet the deadline due to lack of supplies.

The Poughkeepsie city school district's vendor, located in Niagara Falls, was not able to mail the ballots out until Wednesday. People were complaining on Twitter that as of Sunday they had still not received their ballots.

State Sen. Pete Harckham had introduced legislation to extend the date school districts and libraries could receive mail-in ballots to June 16.

"Allowing voters across New York to personally deliver their ballots for school election by Tuesday, June 9, or have them arrive by mail by Tuesday, June 16, will give many of those desiring to having their votes be counted more leeway to get them en route to be counted," he said.

Harckham added that the executive order negated the need for his legislation to proceed.

Cuomo also announced Sunday he was signing legislation to extend the deadline to submit absentee ballots for the June 23 primary until the day of the election. To be counted, primary ballots must be postmarked by June 23.

This article originally appeared on the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch