The election for School Board Trustees and the school budget and in some cities like Mount Vernon, Library Trustees is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 9th. Absentee ballots were due at the Board of Education building by 5 pm Tuesday afternoon.
Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order providing that the school budget vote and elections are to be held entirely by mail-in ballot. But given erratic mail delivery, and other problems, the Governor has just issued an Executive Order extending to June 16 the deadline by which ballots must be received by the school districts.
Jay Worona, deputy executive director and general counsel at the New York State School Boards Association, said that the delay from ballots being in hand from June 9 to June 16 – when districts will finally be able to open and count their mailed in and dropped off ballots – may cause districts to lose borrowed scanners to read all the ballots. Without the scanners, borrowed from the Board of Elections, districts will have to count all the ballots by hand, delaying knowing the outcome of the vote.
Some school districts have had trouble getting ballots out to voters on time; vendors had difficulty mailing them. I received mine Friday and several others in my neighborhood including some of the candidates did not receive their absentee ballots until Saturday and Monday.
About 700 school districts in the state were gearing up to count absentee votes by hand Tuesday night. Now they will wait another week to tally the results.
“The delays in some voters receiving ballots which led to Governor Cuomo extending the deadline for school district voting by a week were a predictable outcome, given the unprecedented volume of printing and mailing entailed in conducting the state’s first-ever all-mail voting process, and the delay in establishing the rules for this year’s votes,” said Robert Lowry, deputy director for the New York State Council of School Superintendents.
But Lowry said his group advocated for a delay for districts that couldn’t get ballots out on time while allowing the others to proceed as scheduled.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world, and while we are making great progress and the numbers keep going down, no New Yorker should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Cuomo said in a statement.
While the deadline has been extended, we encourage everyone to fill in your absentee ballot in and get it in the mail as soon as you get it.