I am urging citizens to write to their Assembly Members and Senators to support A.10203/S.8015, legislation to expand election law to allow absentee voting in the event of a public health risk in response to the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19.
Currently, New York's election law only allows an individual to request an absentee ballot based on a list of approved reasons including sickness, caring for a sick or disabled individual, or absence from your county or New York City. These excuses do not cover the current state of emergency related to COVID-19. This bill would expand the reasons for requesting an absentee ballot to include if they are unable to appear personally at their polling place due to a public health concern that voting in person could expose themselves or others to that risk.
No voter should have to choose between exercising their democratic right or protecting their health. Expanding absentee voting will keep voters and election officials safe from further spreading COVID-19 while allowing them to cast their ballot in the June elections.
Francine Rodger, Clifton Park