Letter to the Editor: New York Needs to Authorize Secure Voting Box Locations

Official Ballot Drop Off Box in New Jersey (UCNJ.org)

Why Hasn’t New York or The Board Of Elections Authorized Secure Voting Box Locations Like Many Other States?

Voters should have ability to place ballots at secure voting boxes at municipal buildings bypassing the postal service. The new law that the Governor signed is not enough

I am pleased that Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed into a law legislation that will allow all New Yorkers to request an absentee ballot to vote in the November 3 general election, citing concerns over contracting the coronavirus.  But, many of my constituents have asked why New York State or the Board of Elections still has not authorized the placement of secure voting boxes at municipal buildings so people don’t have to rely on the postal service for deliver. I have been pushing for this for about a month and am disappointed that so far NYS has not taken any action.  Many other progressive states allow voters to place their ballots at secure boxes. Voters are very worried that the postal service won’t deliver their ballots in time.  New York State allows voters to drop off their ballots at early voting locations but some voters (during COVID-19)–especially those with compromised immune systems- don’t want to go inside a polling place and risk getting sick. Having voting boxes outside municipal buildings will enable concerned voters to avoid contact with others.

Below is a link to New Jersey secure voting box locations:

https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/assets/pdf/election-results/2020/2020-drop-box-locations.pdf  (New Jersey)

Below is a link to a Colorado drop off voting location list:

https://clerkandrecorder.elpasoco.com/elections/ballot-drop-boxes-vspc-locations/  (Colorado)

The above states are not the only states in the nation that allow voting drop off locations.

Ahead of the June primary, Cuomo had used his executive authority to expand absentee balloting, also known as voting by mail. The executive order allowed voters to choose “temporary illness or disability” as an alibi for requesting an absentee ballot.

With Election Day approaching – New York State needs to act quickly and authorize voting boxes at all municipal buildings. And the Board of Elections should publish a list of convenient locations where people can drop off their ballots ahead of Election Day.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

 

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About the Author: Paul Feiner