Senator May and Senator Hoylman Introduce Two Bills to Safeguard Absentee Ballot Returns

Rachel May

August 20, 2020

Syracuse, NY - Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) and Senator Brad Hoylman are co-prime sponsors on two pieces of legislation to provide additional ways to return absentee ballots for the November election. 

The first bill (S.8902) authorizes local boards of elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off locations. These contactless drop-offs would be secure drop boxes placed in the community for easy access for voters. The ballots would then be collected by the Board of Elections and date stamped to ensure they are counted in the election.

The second bill (S.8918) authorizes the local boards of elections to empower local clerks to collect absentee ballots. The clerks would be from various levels of government (city, town, county) and would be able to collect and date stamp the ballots to ensure they are counted in the election. The bill would also create a chain of custody to ensure the ballots remain secure until collected by the local board of elections. 

“We have made great strides during the 2019-2020 legislative session to improve New York’s voting laws,” said Senator May. “Now, the current public health crisis has changed how we have to run our elections. With the expected increase in absentee ballots and the continued dismantling of the USPS by the federal government, we need additional ways for New Yorkers to securely return their ballots. I thank Senator Hoylman for working with me to create two additional ways ballots can be returned to local Boards of Elections for the November’s election.” 
 

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