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Elected Officials Want To See Another Absentee Ballot Option

In his concerted effort to discourage you from voting, in his attempt to do anything to win Trump has opened a new front in his war on mail-in voting, adding ballot drop boxes to his enemy list even as they’re mostly being embraced as a way to expand access to voting. He has been stoking fears that mail-in voting invites voter fraud and is suggesting ballots could be tampered with once voters deposit them into drop boxes.

He wants to make you feel your vote wont count, the election is fixed so no need to vote, basically he is scared if we in the Black and Brown communities show up and show out the way we did in the Obama elections he will lose, so he is will to do whatever it take to win and whatever it takes to ensure you either do not vote or he makes it as hard as it is for you to vote.

But let’s not allow it to deter us or take our eyes that all politics are local and we have many important local election, Westchester County District Attorney, all State and Senate and Assembly seats, local and statewide judgeships etc. Trump knows not only is the presidency in danger but Dems can possible take control of the Senate and regain control of the House.

One thing he is making very clear is we must do everything we can to make sure voters can cast ballots safely and securely in this fall’s general election.

Recent state legislation to give everyone concerned about COVID-19 the option of voting absentee is an important step.

Governor Cuomo has signed into law election reforms that will make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and be counted in November. The three-part package includes a new measure which allows absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately. 

A second measure gives voters the right to request an absentee ballot due to risk of illness to themselves or others, meaning that concern about contracting COVID-19 is now a valid reason for requesting an absentee ballot.

The third measure ensures that all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after Election Day will be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by November 10. 

But it also would be great if voters, who might be anxious about whether or not their absentee ballots will arrive on time, had the option of submitting ballots via conveniently located drop-boxes, collected by the Board of Elections. 

That’s while all the members of the Board of Legislators wrote to Westchester’s state delegation on Tuesday, urging them to pass a law, currently pending in Albany, to allow the Board of Election to install such drop-boxes.

The full text of the letter can be seen below

Letter Absentee Ballot Drop Sites by BLACK WESTCHESTER MAGAZINE on Scribd

 https://westchesterlegislators.com/images/Newsroom/2020/letter-absentee-ballot-drop-sites.pdf

Establishing drop-boxes was one of the recommendations for improving voting this fall included in a report from the Board of Legislators’ Election Information Gathering Task Force issued earlier this month.

While we look forward to passage of the drop-box legislation, please remember, even without drop-boxes, there are many ways to return absentee ballots.  They may be returned by mail or in person to the Board of Elections at 25 Quarropas St., White Plains, NY 10601; or they may be returned in person to any early voting polling site or election day polling site during voting hours.

If you would like to request an absentee ballot, please visit: https://citizenparticipation.westchestergov.com/voting/absentee-ballots

In related news, in municipalities like Greenburgh, Town Supervisor Paul Feiner has also been making formal request to Board of Elections to place secure voting box outside Greenburgh Town Hall like they have in many other states.

Because early voting site is at Town Hall, Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner making formal request to Board of Elections to authorize box outside Greenburgh Town hall  Many states in the United States place convenient voting boxes outside buildings so voters don’t have to worry about postal service errors or contracting Covid-19 by going into a polling place
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is making a formal request to the NYS and Westchester County Board of Elections asking NYS to authorize the town to place a secure voting box outside of Greenburgh Town Hall  for voters to place their absentee ballots in 24 hours a day. Many residents have contacted Feiner in recent weeks concerned about the reliability of the US Postal Service in delivering absentee ballots to the Board of Elections.  Other voters, especially those with medical issues, are afraid to drop off their ballots inside Town Hall during early voting days –worried about crowds and the possibility of getting infected with Covid-19.  There are two early voting locations that voters can use in Greenburgh—Greenburgh Town Hall and Dobbs Ferry Village Hall. Feiner thinks secure voting boxes should be placed outside both buildings. 

Many states across the nation have placed voting boxes outside municipal owned locations to encourage voting. I can’t understand why NYS is not doing as much as other states to encourage voter participation.  A second wave of COVID-19 is a possibility in mid October and November. If NYS does not provide voters with the opportunity to take advantage of secure voting boxes outside building and if there is a COVID 2nd wave, voting turnout won’t be as high. During primaries lines were enormous. Some voters in the primary waited till after 11 PM to vote even though polls were supposed to close at 9 PM.  Letting people place their ballots in a secure box 24 hours a day/night would also reduce the  long lines at the polling locations.

Drop boxes have taken on new urgency after cost-cutting measures at the U.S. Postal Service slowed mail delivery nationwide and Trump has repeatedly attacked the legitimacy of mail ballots. Polls show the Republican president trailing Democratic challenger Joe Biden in a race that some experts say could see half of all votes cast absentee.

Some say the drop box battle is a lot of fuss over a piece of civic furniture — typically a heavily constructed metal box placed in a public location, often monitored by video.

Support and push our elected officials to make ballot boxes available as we are entering a possible second wave of COVID-19 which could cause the need for another shut down and as we see in Texas and Louisiana we are in the beginning of hurricane season which could bring further obstacles.

In closing no matter how you do it, get up, get out and vote and if you are voting by mail in ballot, request your mail in ballot as early as possible, fil it out and sending it in right away, because we should expect more interference to our postal service, so we are going to have to go as hard to make sure our vote counts and trump and those who are going hard to make it difficult for you to vote and deter you from voting all together. WE MUST VOTE LIKE OUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT, BECAUSE IT DOES!

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About AJ Woodson (2279 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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