BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Normally, absentee ballots are only granted to people who are unable to vote in person on the day of an election.
Since the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent executive orders are keeping people from gathering together, anyone eligible to vote can request an absentee ballot for the June elections this year.
June 23 is the delayed date for the NY-27 special election, presidential primary and local primaries. Originally, these elections were scheduled for the last week of April.
“Although we are hoping the public health emergency will have eased by then, people are clearly concerned and responding to an option that keeps them safe and still allows them to have their say,” said Republican Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr.
Mohr is referring to the more than 1,000 voters in Erie County who have requested absentee ballots since mail-in and electronic submission options were posted online Monday.
Democratic Commissioner Jeremy Zellner says “It’s heartening to see these kinds of numbers.”
“The concern here is two-fold: to protect voters and our election workers and make sure no voter is disenfranchised by the pandemic,” Zellner said.
Absentee ballot applications for Erie County residents can be downloaded here.