A unanimous vote from the New York State Supreme Court Judges in the Third Appellate Division has decided the new absentee election laws will stay.
The Board of Elections will now continue to count absentee ballots when they receive them.
According to My Twin Tiers, Erica Smitka, Deputy Director of NY League of Women Voters, said this “speeds up the process and ensures it’s accurate.”
She added that this lets them get the results out to voters sooner as well.
In addition, the courts also decided that fear of COVID-19 is a valid excuse for filling out an absentee ballot.
Smitka said that a reason for the decision was that those against absentee voting brought it up too late.
The election is next week and numerous absentee ballots have already been counted.
Those who voted using these ballots with the COVID-19 reasoning would be very confused if the ruling was changed only days ahead of the election.
Paul DerOhannesian, the representative for Senate and Assembly leaders that were sued, said this was all procedural.
The decision was not about the issues and problems that were brought up over the law, but about this specific election.
Rich Amedure, a plaintiff in the case, said that they are considering taking it to a higher court. He added that once the election is over it won’t matter anymore and they can no longer use that excuse, but instead be forced to “find the constitutionality of the law.”
The following statement was released by the New York State Board of Elections:
“County board of elections will continue to canvas and count absentee ballots as they have been doing. The boards are reviewing for any possible cures. There is no impact on voters. They should remain confident that any legitimate absentee ballot will be counted. If a voter needs to vote by absentee ballot they can still apply in-person at the county board of elections up to and including November 7th.”
FingerLakes1.com is the region’s leading all-digital news publication. The company was founded in 1998 and has been keeping residents informed for more than two decades. Have a lead? Send it to [email protected]