Lawmakers push for absentee count to start election night
Nov 11, 2020 5:30 am
Amanda Fries is reporting for Capitol Confidential state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris November 10, announced legislation that would allow absentee ballots to be counted on Election Day. Currently state election officials are unable to open and begin counting absentee ballots until a week after Election Day. “There is no good excuse for election results to continue to be up in the air weeks and months after people have already cast their votes,” Gianaris said in a news release. “Our Senate Majority will continue to do the work of improving our election processes to ensure everyone has easy access to the ballot and election results are clear and timely.” Under his proposal the counting of absentee ballots would start three hours before polls close on Election Day, or at 6 p.m. The ballot envelopes would be examined for validity at the time of their arrival to the local Boards of Elections. Sen. David Carlucci, Democrat of Rockland County, said with absentee voting now more than 25 percent of the total vote, the state must update how mail-in ballots are handled and counted. “The fact that we cannot call local races until weeks after Election Day is obscure and confusing to the public,” he said. “Now we need a political interpreter to tell us who might have won and who has a chance.” Read the story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.