ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — There’s no doubt the pandemic has impacted the way state and federal primary elections were conducted Tuesday, but will some of the measures that state and local boards took continue for the November election or other elections to come?
Sarah Goff with Common Cause New York says New York voters currently have more options to vote than ever before with early voting, expanded absentee options and voting on election day.
“We fully anticipate this trend, at least in New York, to continue through the remainder of 2020, because obviously, things are moving in the right direction in New York State as a whole, but who knows where we’ll be in November, and so we hope to offer voters the same menu of options come the fall,” Goff said.
New York held its first early voting period in November. According to an unofficial count from the State Board of Elections, about 93,000 New Yorkers took advantage of early voting for the current election. That allowed voters the potential to avoid a crowd at the polls on primary day.
As a response to the pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo also issued an executive order to automatically send voters absentee ballot applications for the primary. The Governor also signed a law to extend the deadline to submit an absentee ballot to primary day.
“Shifting a significant portion of the electorate onto absentee ballots will have a significant impact in terms of showing results but in terms of running the election as well. The local boards worked extremely well in some very difficult times,” said NYS Board of Elections Director of Public Information John Conklin.
“Our hope is that local boards will help preserve and build on the infrastructure that they’ve rapidly pulled together this cycle for the November election and beyond,” Goff said.