Harckham Introduces Legislation to Extend School District and Library Votes to June 16

Albany, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham introduced legislation today that will extend the date for school district and library elections across the state until June 16, 2020, because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The legislation is necessary because printing companies hired by a number of school districts have had serious problems with readying the ballots and having enough time for absentee ballots to be received by mail in time before the June 9, 2020, date of their school board elections and budget votes. The Mahopac and Brewster school districts, both in the 40th Senate District, which Harckham represents, are among those that have reported being in need of an extension.

“Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted a number of civic functions this spring, including school elections and votes,” said Harckham. “The mail-in absentee ballot option caused a perfect storm of logistical issues, however, and it is necessary to provide school districts with an extra week to get the ballots delivered and to ensure that every registered voter can cast a ballot.”

The Mahopac and Brewster schools were among a number of school districts statewide that were informed last week by a private printing company that their printed ballots would not be delivered in time for voters to return them by the June 9, 2020 deadline. School districts have been looking for alternative means of delivering and collecting completed ballot forms, including personal, door-to-door voting services. With more than 10,000 ballots to consider for each district, extraordinary efforts as such still could not guarantee that all votes would be tallied in time.

Along with statewide school district board elections and budget votes on June 9, 2020, a number of public libraries that are affiliated with school districts have their board and budget votes on the same date.