The Covid-19 pandemic has caused all of us to rethink many things we considered routine. Politicians have had to create new procedures and protocols to help preserve our rights and privileges. Primary elections this year in New York City will be conducted in a manner previously reserved for those who knew they would be out of town on election day. For the first time in New York State history, every registered Democrat will be able to vote by mail (after first requesting an absentee ballot) in the June 23rd Democratic Primary.
Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Executive Order 202.23, which states that every registered voter will be sent an absentee ballot application. The Board of Elections will be mailing absentee ballot applications to every household where there is at least one registered voter. The application must be completed and returned to receive a mail-in ballot. Voters can indicate the reason for their request as “temporary illness,” which now includes the risk of contracting coronavirus. If you are away from home, you can request an absentee ballot be sent to your current location. This is especially beneficial to anyone who will be already have left home for the summer.
In case you do not receive an application, you may request one by June 16th. There are several ways to request an absentee ballot:
- Online – www.nycabsentee.com
- Mail an application to the Board of Elections
- Call 1-866-Vote-NYC
- Scan and email an application to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fax an application to 212-487-5349
As of the writing of this article, a federal judge ruled that the New York presidential primary is back on the schedule for June 23rd. This ruling might be appealed. Regardless, almost every community in NYC will have a local or state primary on June 23rd, so please request your absentee ballot now.
Voting during this pandemic could not be easier, or more important. By voting we participate in the democratic process. We choose those who represent us and will promote our ideals. If we do not vote, others will be making those choices for us. This is particularly important in local races. We must show our elected officials that our community has a voice.