A significant number of constituents have said they are still waiting to receive their absentee ballots for the June 23 Democratic Primary election despite having submitted an application weeks ago.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State temporarily authorized all eligible voters to apply for an absentee ballot for the June 23 primary and special elections based on “temporary illness” and instructed Boards of Election to automatically mail an absentee ballot application to all eligible voters. There have been numerous reports of voters saying they have not received their absentee ballots in the mail yet, even though they applied weeks ago. Only registered Democrats are eligible to vote in the June 23 primary for the 81st Assembly District because no other party is holding a primary election within this district.
Democrats are asked to choose candidates for President, Presidential Delegate, Congress, and New York State Assembly, as well as elect Male and Female District Leaders, Female State Committee member, and Civil Court Judge. Some Democrats in the 81st Assembly District will also be asked to choose candidates for New York State Senate (34th District only).
There are three ways for registered Democrats in the 81st Assembly District to cast their vote in the June 23 primary election:
- Absentee – Ballots must be postmarked by June 23, 2020 in order to be considered valid. They can also be delivered to the Board of Elections in person. Absentee ballots can still be applied for in person at the Bronx Board of Elections until June 22.
- Early – In person early voting is available until Sunday, June 21, 2020. Voters are assigned to a specific early voting location based on their Election District, which is most likely different from their traditional local polling site. People should confirm their assigned early voting location before going to vote, which can be done online at nyc.pollsitelocator.com.
- Voters can cast their ballot in person on June 23 at their local poll site between 6am and 9pm. Some poll sites have changed based on building closures and public health guidance. People should confirm their assigned local voting location before going, which can be done online at nyc.pollsitelocator.com.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz also issued the following statement and recommendations for people concerned about their delayed absentee ballots:
“Every single person who is eligible to vote in the elections on June 23 deserves to have their vote counted, whether they vote early or absentee or at their local poll site. If people do not receive their ballot by Monday, June 22 then they should expect and plan to vote in person at their local poll site on Tuesday.
I have been in frequent contact with the Board of Elections and they continue to say that ballots have been mailed to eligible voters. I have been in contact with the United States Postal Service and they have said that they are not experiencing any backlogs of absentee ballots in their facilities. There will be time to figure out what went wrong after Tuesday, but the most important thing right now is to make sure eligible voters who wish to cast a ballot have created a specific plan to vote in the June 23 Democratic primary election.”
When candidates complained of getting late mail from the Board of Elections such as hearing notices after the hearings, The NYCBOE Law Department head clerk said that the BOE can't be held liable if the USPS can't deliver the mail on time.