New York allows voters to receive ballots due to coronavirus concerns
Amid plenty of conversation about mail-in voting and coronavirus concerns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it easier to vote without heading to the polls this fall.
In 2016, Nassau County's Board of Elections received about 3,700 absentee ballots, but this year they're prepared for thousands more.
"Based on the primary, we had 151,000 requests for both elections we had on June 23, and I expect that number to go up," says Jim Scheuerman, of the Nassau County Board of Elections.
And the expectations have only heightened after Cuomo signed three new laws that make it easier to vote in the general election. The first allows you to request an absentee ballot due to coronavirus fears. The second allows a voter to request your absentee ballot immediately so they have time to get it. And the third allows ballots postmarked on Election Day to be counted.
"What the governor did today was essentially what he did for the primary, which is to allow any voter to request a ballot for fear of contracting COVID, which opens up the absentee to everyone," says Scheuerman.
President Donald Trump has called into question the U.S. Postal Service's ability to handle mail-in ballots, saying "mail-in voting is going to be the greatest fraud in the history of elections." But Scheuerman and many others say that claim is baseless.
"The Postal Service, there is no evidence of any kind of widespread fraud. They did a great job in my estimation during the primary, of course any influx will slow anything down for them. So my recommendation is to vote early," he says.
There's another option if you want to avoid crowds -- early, in-person voting, taking place from Oct. 24 through Nov. 1. There are 15 early voting locations.
Voters can also drop off their absentee ballot in-person at the Board of Elections.