Thanks to an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.), all registered New York voters will now receive a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot in their mailboxes in order to vote in the June 23 primary election.
Voters no longer need to disclose an excuse to vote via absentee, as was previously customary with mail-in ballots. County boards of elections across the state recognized that the pandemic has presented myriad obstacles to voting accessibility.
Cuomo previously announced that the state’s presidential primary, originally scheduled for April 28, would be pushed to June 23 to coincide with congressional and legislative primaries.
Cuomo pointed to the “terrifying” Wisconsin primary election as evidence for the benefit of a mail-in election. After the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked their governor’s attempt to push the election date, voters lined polling places despite the public health threat.
“It makes no sense to me to tell people you have to put your life at risk, violate social distancing, to come out to vote,” Cuomo said in a Friday press conference.
In an April 15 virtual town hall, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) likewise criticized the Wisconsin election, and also unveiled a plan at the federal level to expand mail-in ballot initiatives –– Klobuchar’s “Emergency Ballot” plan has not left committee in the Senate.
About 25 percent of Cornell undergraduates, graduates, and professional students hail from the Empire state.
Primary election laws in New York State require voters to be registered to a party in order to vote.
This story will be updated.
Correction, April 24, 5:19 p.m.: A previous version of this article inaccurately stated that New Yorker will receive absentee ballots in the mail for the upcoming primary election. New Yorkers will receive a postage-paid application for the absentee ballot, not the ballot itself. The article and the headline have since been updated.
This piece is part of The Cornell Daily Sun’s Election 2020 Section. Read more of The Sun’s election coverage here.