Education

Absentee ballot deadline extended to June 16 for school budget votes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that the deadline for voting in school elections will be extended through June 16.

The executive order, which has not been published yet, will allow ballots for budget and school board elections to be received by mail through June 16 by school districts. According to a press release issued by the governor’s office, hand delivered ballots must still be received by the district clerk by 5 p.m. June 9. Only mailed in ballots were extended.

Under a current executive order, all school elections are being conducted via absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic. School districts have sent ballots and a return envelope to all registered voters in the district.

The change to the absentee process comes after concerns over voters submitting ballots in time to be counted. The state’s education law does not require ballots to be postmarked by election day, but rather received by that date.

The governor signed additional legislation Sunday to extend the deadline for the primary elections on June 23. Primary ballots postmarked by June 23 will be accepted, officials said.

In a statement, Mr. Cuomo said the decision was made based on current circumstances with regard to the pandemic.

“No New Yorker should have to choose between their health and their right to vote,” he said. “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.”