Officials working at capacity to prepare for primary
Jun 04, 2020 2:00 pm
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media thousands of absentee ballot applications are pouring in to the Board of Elections in Columbia and Greene counties in advance of the June 23 primary election. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order in April requiring the applications be sent to every eligible voter statewide in response to the health concerns raised by large gatherings at polling sites. The Columbia County Board of Elections mailed out 31,002 absentee ballot applications in May to both Republicans and Democrats, Republican Commissioner Kelly Miller-Simmons said. Completed applications have been coming in over the past few days. Once submitted, the applications are reviewed and put into the system. If eligible, a ballot is then sent to the voter. Voters looking to vote by absentee ballot in the primary race should complete and mail in their application as soon as possible, Columbia County Democratic Commissioner Ken Dow said. In Greene County, the initial mailing was so daunting that officials brought in additional help to get them all out, county Republican Commissioner Brent Bogardus said. “It is way more than normal, so we have had to bring in two elections inspectors that work with us on normal election days, who have information and knowledge of the process to help us process all these absentee ballot applications,” he said. The more than 22,000 applications to Democrats and Republicans were mailed out around 10 days ago, he said. County Board of Elections officials will process all of the applications, he added. While all eligible voters have the option to vote by absentee ballot in the primary, all 25 of Greene County's polling sites will be open for in-person voting from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., June 23, Bogardus said. Columbia County will also have polling sites open, but fewer of them. Dow said there will be 13 sites open, compared to 32 for a typical primary. Early voting is available and begins June 13. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.