NYDLC Statement on Absentee Voting During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

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New York Democratic Lawyers Council applauds Governor Cuomo’s announcement to confirm by executive order access to absentee balloting for all New Yorkers during the June 23rd primary election voting period.

New York state election law states that a qualified voter may request an absentee ballot if he or she is unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election district in which he or she is a qualified voter because of illness or physical disability. On the New York State Absentee Ballot Application, voters have the option of checking permanent or temporary illness. There is little doubt that “temporary illness” was intended to include infectious diseases like COVID-19. There is even less doubt that voters’ ability to personally appear at polling places is drastically impaired by the community health risks associated with COVID-19.

The current, broader policy and public health picture drives home that such a position is consistent with both the letter and spirit of the these provisions: voters may be undergoing a COVID-19 infection while being asymptomatic; New Yorkers are currently compelled to practice social distancing and may be fined if they do not; no New Yorker has absolute ability to socially distance short of not leaving their home. Taken altogether, it is clear that New York voters collectively bear an impeded ability to make personal appearances at their assigned polling places, due to the community spread of a temporary illness.

NYDLC strongly supports the Governor’s and county Boards of Elections’ determination that the coronavirus, including the quantifiable risks of contracting of COVID-19 infection, is a temporary illness for which an absentee ballot may be applied for, issued, and counted. Indeed, Erie County Board of Elections has led the way on this and, weeks ago, publicly stated they would do so for the special election in New York Congressional District 27. 


We welcome and applaud any and all direction from our state government that clarifies county Board of Elections are empowered to - and must - accept applications on this basis. Such direction is appropriate and consistent with current state law.


The next step forward is to ensure that our county Boards of Election have the resources, funding, and technical support necessary to accept an increased influx of absentee ballot applications, and absentee ballots themselves. Yesterday, the nation witnessed many voters in line for primary elections in Wisconsin who stated they were out voting amid COVID-19 restrictions because they had requested an absentee ballot but not received one.

Albany must avail itself of matching funds made available through the CARES act to ensure that counties have the ability to invest in the staff and systems necessary to handle a dramatic increase in voting by absentee ballot.

In addition, NYDLC calls for federal appropriations to be made in the stimulus bill currently moving through the House to make vote-by-mail and increased opportunities for early voting during states of emergency possible.


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  • Featured event

    Wednesday October 28th Steering Committee Meeting

    Attend NYDLC's next Steering Committee Meeting! RSVP below

    NYDLC's Steering Committee provides a platform for all of our projects and initiatives.

    The Steering Committee meeting is open to all members who would like to be more involved or to those who are new to NYDLC and would like to find out about our work. At each meeting, we hear reports from our Committee Chairs and plan for the months ahead, so this is a great way to check in on what we are working on and identify a few key ways you can help protect fundamental #VotingRights and #BeTheChange!

    Dial-in option: If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to join by phone.

    RSVP below and you will be emailed dial-in credentials.

    All NYDLC members are welcome to attend: To Join NYDLC as a member, please click here. (NYDLC always provides up to a 100% exemption policy for those unable to pay).

     


    The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: 

    • 1. All eligible persons can register to vote easily;
    • 2. All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation;
    • 3. All voters are counted accurately and all voting systems are open and reliable.

    New to NYDLC? 

    Click here to View our current NYS and national comprehensive voting reform agenda.

    WHEN
    October 28, 2020 at 6:30pm
    WHERE
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    1285 6th Ave
    (floor TBA)
    New York, NY 10019
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • Featured event

    Wednesday August 26th Steering Committee Meeting

    Attend NYDLC's next Steering Committee Meeting! RSVP below

    NYDLC's Steering Committee provides a platform for all of our projects and initiatives.

    The Steering Committee meeting is open to all members who would like to be more involved or to those who are new to NYDLC and would like to find out about our work. At each meeting, we hear reports from our Committee Chairs and plan for the months ahead, so this is a great way to check in on what we are working on and identify a few key ways you can help protect fundamental #VotingRights and #BeTheChange!

    Dial-in option: If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to join by phone.

    RSVP below and you will be emailed dial-in credentials.

    All NYDLC members are welcome to attend: To Join NYDLC as a member, please click here. (NYDLC always provides up to a 100% exemption policy for those unable to pay).

     


    The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: 

    • 1. All eligible persons can register to vote easily;
    • 2. All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation;
    • 3. All voters are counted accurately and all voting systems are open and reliable.

    New to NYDLC? 

    Click here to View our current NYS and national comprehensive voting reform agenda.

    WHEN
    August 26, 2020 at 6:30pm
    WHERE
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    1285 6th Ave
    (floor TBA)
    New York, NY 10019
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • Featured event

    Wednesday May 27th Steering Committee Meeting

    Attend NYDLC's next Steering Committee Meeting! RSVP below

    NYDLC's Steering Committee provides a platform for all of our projects and initiatives.

    The Steering Committee meeting is open to all members who would like to be more involved or to those who are new to NYDLC and would like to find out about our work. At each meeting, we hear reports from our Committee Chairs and plan for the months ahead, so this is a great way to check in on what we are working on and identify a few key ways you can help protect fundamental #VotingRights and #BeTheChange!

    Dial-in option: If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to join by phone.

    RSVP below and you will be emailed dial-in credentials.

    All NYDLC members are welcome to attend: To Join NYDLC as a member, please click here. (NYDLC always provides up to a 100% exemption policy for those unable to pay).

     


    The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: 

    • 1. All eligible persons can register to vote easily;
    • 2. All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation;
    • 3. All voters are counted accurately and all voting systems are open and reliable.

    New to NYDLC? 

    Click here to View our current NYS and national comprehensive voting reform agenda.

    WHEN
    May 27, 2020 at 6:30pm
    WHERE
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    1285 6th Ave
    (floor TBA)
    New York, NY 10019
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • Featured event

    Wednesday June 24th Steering Committee Meeting

    Attend NYDLC's next Steering Committee Meeting! RSVP below

    NYDLC's Steering Committee provides a platform for all of our projects and initiatives.

    The Steering Committee meeting is open to all members who would like to be more involved or to those who are new to NYDLC and would like to find out about our work. At each meeting, we hear reports from our Committee Chairs and plan for the months ahead, so this is a great way to check in on what we are working on and identify a few key ways you can help protect fundamental #VotingRights and #BeTheChange!

    Dial-in option: If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to join by phone.

    RSVP below and you will be emailed dial-in credentials.

    All NYDLC members are welcome to attend: To Join NYDLC as a member, please click here. (NYDLC always provides up to a 100% exemption policy for those unable to pay).

     


    The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: 

    • 1. All eligible persons can register to vote easily;
    • 2. All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation;
    • 3. All voters are counted accurately and all voting systems are open and reliable.

    New to NYDLC? 

    Click here to View our current NYS and national comprehensive voting reform agenda.

    WHEN
    June 24, 2020 at 6:30pm
    WHERE
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    1285 6th Ave
    (floor TBA)
    New York, NY 10019
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • Featured event

    Wednesday July 29th Steering Committee Meeting

    Attend NYDLC's next Steering Committee Meeting! RSVP below

    NYDLC's Steering Committee provides a platform for all of our projects and initiatives.

    The Steering Committee meeting is open to all members who would like to be more involved or to those who are new to NYDLC and would like to find out about our work. At each meeting, we hear reports from our Committee Chairs and plan for the months ahead, so this is a great way to check in on what we are working on and identify a few key ways you can help protect fundamental #VotingRights and #BeTheChange!

    Dial-in option: If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to join by phone.

    RSVP below and you will be emailed dial-in credentials.

    All NYDLC members are welcome to attend: To Join NYDLC as a member, please click here. (NYDLC always provides up to a 100% exemption policy for those unable to pay).

     


    The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: 

    • 1. All eligible persons can register to vote easily;
    • 2. All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation;
    • 3. All voters are counted accurately and all voting systems are open and reliable.

    New to NYDLC? 

    Click here to View our current NYS and national comprehensive voting reform agenda.

    WHEN
    July 29, 2020 at 6:30pm
    WHERE
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    1285 6th Ave
    (floor TBA)
    New York, NY 10019
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

  • Featured event

    Wednesday September 30th Steering Committee Meeting

    Attend NYDLC's next Steering Committee Meeting! RSVP below

    NYDLC's Steering Committee provides a platform for all of our projects and initiatives.

    The Steering Committee meeting is open to all members who would like to be more involved or to those who are new to NYDLC and would like to find out about our work. At each meeting, we hear reports from our Committee Chairs and plan for the months ahead, so this is a great way to check in on what we are working on and identify a few key ways you can help protect fundamental #VotingRights and #BeTheChange!

    Dial-in option: If you are unable to attend in person, you are welcome to join by phone.

    RSVP below and you will be emailed dial-in credentials.

    All NYDLC members are welcome to attend: To Join NYDLC as a member, please click here. (NYDLC always provides up to a 100% exemption policy for those unable to pay).

     


    The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) is a coalition of lawyers and voting rights advocates dedicated to fostering universal participation and trust in the electoral process by ensuring that: 

    • 1. All eligible persons can register to vote easily;
    • 2. All registered voters are able to vote conveniently, fairly, without intimidation;
    • 3. All voters are counted accurately and all voting systems are open and reliable.

    New to NYDLC? 

    Click here to View our current NYS and national comprehensive voting reform agenda.

    WHEN
    September 30, 2020 at 6:30pm
    WHERE
    Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
    1285 6th Ave
    (floor TBA)
    New York, NY 10019
    United States
    Google map and directions
    rsvp

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