In the New York Times, Luis Ferre-Sadurni reports “New York State will allow most voters to cast their ballots by mail in the November general election, joining a growing list of states that have expanded mail-in voting to address the potential spread of the coronavirus at polling places.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, signed a bill on Thursday allowing voters to request an absentee ballot if they cannot show up at a polling location because of the risk of contracting or spreading an illness, effectively permitting the state’s more than 12 million registered voters to vote by mail.”
Nick Reisman reports in State of Politics: “A three-part package of bills that are meant to expand access to absentee ballots and ensure they are received by Election Day was signed onto law on Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The measures come amid heightened concerns around absentee and mail-in voting ahead of the November general election.
Cuomo in a statement pointed to the ongoing funding controversies surrounding the U.S. Postal Service that has led to Democrats raising concerns over whether ballots would arrive on time by Election Day.
“The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Cuomo said.”
In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “Top officials at the state Board of Elections on Tuesday announced they would appeal a federal judge’s order to count absentee ballots in New York City that had been invalidated, in many cases due to the lack of a postmark. “
Brian Sharp and Adria R. Walker take a look at Rochester’s extremely low census response rates in the Democrat & Chronicle “Rochester has the nation’s fourth worst response rate to the 2020 census of any medium or large-sized city.
Months into the count, records show that just 48% of residents have responded.
The deadline remains some time off, and local organizers are confident numbers will improve dramatically. It’s important that they do, as the data collected determine congressional representation and how billions in federal dollars are allocated, while providing a snapshot of who we are.”
Robert Harding writes in auburnpub.com “New York lawmakers will hold a hearing later next week to review the state’s new independent redistricting process.
The hearing will be held Wednesday, July 15. It will be led by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, which has been responsible for overseeing redistricting in the past, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Assembly Government Operations Committee.”
In CNY Central, Tony Black reports “After the coronavirus crisis paused door-to-door delivery of the 2020 census questionnaires, the U.S. Census Bureau will resume operations Wednesday, delivering 62,000 questionnaires to households across Central New York.”
Thomas C. Zambito, in the Rockland/Westchester Journal News reports “A federal judge struck down the method East Ramapo uses to elect its school board Tuesday, saying the current setup is unfair to black and Latino voters.
U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel, in a 77-page decision issued this morning, said the East Ramapo Central School District will be banned from using the at-large method to elect school board members in elections scheduled for June 9.
“This ruling may or may not change the way the schools in the District are run,” Seibel wrote. “But the purpose of Section 2 (of the Voting Rights Act) is not to produce any particular policy outcome. Rather, it is to ensure that every voter has equal access to the electoral process. For too long, black and Latino voters in the District have been frustrated in that most fundamental and precious endeavor. They, like their white neighbors, are entitled to have their voices heard.”
Joseph Spector reports in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that the decision to reinstate the June 23 primary has been appealed by New York State.
In today’s New York Times, Stephanie Saul and report “New York officials canceled the state’s Democratic presidential primary on Monday, prompting an immediate backlash from the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders and his legion of progressive supporters who had hoped to amass convention delegates and help shape the party’s platform in August.
In making the decision against holding a primary, which had been scheduled for June 23, the Democratic chair of the New York State Board of Elections called the primary “essentially a beauty contest” that the state could ill-afford in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.”