ALBANY, NY – Today, July 23rd, the New York State Legislature officially passed bill S8015D, sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, to expand access to absentee ballot voting amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill redefines the term "illness" to include instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election district in which they are a qualified voter because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease that may cause illness to the voter or to other members of the public. The bill shall take effect immediately upon signature, and shall expire and be deemed repealed on January 1st, 2022.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:
"No New Yorker should ever have to choose between safeguarding their health and fulfilling their civic duty. Yet, during the June primary election far too many voters received their absentee ballots too late, or not at all, and had to put their health on the line to make their voices heard. COVID-19 has created unparalleled challenges for safe and fair elections that will likely still exist come the consequential election in the fall. By codifying the expansion of absentee ballot voting, we can provide indisputable clarity now on how New Yorkers can safely access the ballot box in November, and give the Board of Elections the time they need to properly prepare for elections throughout the course of this pandemic. I extend my deepest gratitude to Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins and my colleagues for their partnership to move this bill over the finish line. I look forward to the Governor signing this legislation into law as quickly as possible to ensure the protection of our democracy."