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.”
Read the order here: https://electionlawblog.org/wp-content/uploads/20-05-19-2CA-Affirmance.pdf
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.”
Morgan McKay reports in State of Politics: “Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he will be issuing an executive order to have the State Board of Elections send every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot.
With the June 23 primary date quickly approaching, Cuomo said he wants people to have the option to vote from home if necessary, despite some criticism from groups saying that the BOE does not have the infrastructure to tackle this massive undertaking.”
In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports that “(t)he good-government group Common Cause and a Democratic county elections commissioner on Friday urged state lawmakers to codify an absentee ballot expansion Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered for the June 23 primary and special elections in New York.
Cuomo moved this week to expand absentee voting to include virtually any eligible voter in the June vote, which will consider federal and state primary elections and two special elections for the 27th congressional district and the 50th state Senate seat.
Cuomo had previously moved the special election and presidential primary from April 28 to June 23 in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.”
In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “the coronavirus pandemic is leading to calls to expand New York’s criteria for absentee ballot access ahead of the June 23 primary.
Thousands of New Yorkers are expected at the polls in June to cast ballots in primaries and special elections.
It promises to be a busy day.”
The State Board of Elections has published new calendars for the 2020 political calendar year and for the June 23rd presidential primary. They can be accessed here:
The state budget aid to localities bill included $10 million in new funding for Census 2020 outreach efforts and reappropriated $20 million never spent on the census from last year’s budget. The state was set to begin distributing $15 million of that funding in early March, only to be further delayed by the pandemic outbreak.
Each county in the state was invited to submit applications for a pre-set share of funds they would pass down to pre-qualified non-profit organizations by March 2nd. Despite late efforts to move the money in mid-March to localities, no funds have yet been allocated to counties and non-profit organizations.
While the same legislative language used last year to permit the Division of the Budget to move the funds through Empire State Development’s budget, it’s unknown at this time when last year’s funds will ever be distributed or what will happen with the new funding.
The census is now underway, with 36.1% of the state’s households responding via the internet or telephone. The national response rate is now 41.3% and Minnesota has already hit the 49.9% response rate, highest in the nation. Due to the pandemic, the census counting period has been extended to August 14 and may go even later as the Census Bureau works to meet a statutory December 31 deadline for congressional reapportionment state population totals and stats district allocations.