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Good government activists want to keep easy access to absentee ballots

May 19, 2023 12:51 pm

Nick Reisman reports in New York State of Politics that during the COVID-19 pandemic New York state officials made it easier for people to receive an absentee ballot, and advocates for open government would like that to continue. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group said, "Lawmakers would have to act on legislation to extend that this year.... They haven’t done it yet. And the primary election is merely six weeks away." Primary voting this year takes place June 17 through June 27. Common Cause’s Susan Lerner agrees it should be easy for a voter to receive an absentee ballot because they do not want to be in a small room with so many other people for health reasons. "This isn’t about some special favor.... This is a reasonable definition in our unfortunately highly contagious world.... That would be relevant, for instance, if you’re a cancer patient under chemotherapy.... It would be relevant if you’re immune compromised. It would be relevant if you’re an older person at risk for COVID." Republicans such as state Sen. Mark Walczyk are opposed, saying, "We should be doing things to restore faith in the electoral process and get people out on Election Day." But there is no longer one single election day, but many days when voters may cast their ballot at the polls. Locally, Republicans in Rensselaer County have been charged with fraud about absentee ballots, but otherwise there have been no problems with absentee voting lately. Read more about this story in New York State of Politics.

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