Cuomo signs bill to expand absentee voting in New York

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill Thursday that will allow all New Yorkers to vote by mail if they are concerned about the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19.

“I just signed legislation to guarantee that New Yorkers can vote safely & that EVERY vote counts,” Cuomo tweeted. “All voters can now request an absentee ballot if they are concerned about COVID.”

New York law previously limited absentee ballots to voters who were absent from their county or unable to get to their polling site because of an illness, a physical disability or if they are a caretaker. The bill Cuomo signed broadens the meaning of an illness to allow voters who are concerned of spreading or contracting the coronavirus, WROC reported

Cuomo had previously signed an executive order allowing all New Yorkers to vote by mail in the June 23 primary election. 

New York’s law come amid President Trump’s ongoing bashing of mail-in voting, including repeating unfounded claims that the process leads to widespread fraud. 

It also comes amid scrutiny over changes at the U.S. Postal Service amid what is expected to be a surge in voting by mail in November. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said earlier this week he will delay a series of reforms after lawmakers raised concerns they could slow delivery, but Democrats are still objecting over changes that have already been made. 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that DeJoy does not intend to replace Postal Service sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other infrastructure that were removed before he announced he’d postpone the changes until after the general election. 

DeJoy is scheduled to testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, and the House is expected to vote Saturday on legislation to provide $25 billion in emergency funding for the Postal Service and prevent changes to its operations.

Tags 2020 2020 election Absentee ballot Andrew Cuomo Donald Trump Louis DeJoy mail-in voting Nancy Pelosi New York Vote by Mail
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