SYRACUSE — State Sen. Rachel May, D-53, Syracuse, participated in a joint legislative hearing on the impacts COVID-19 has had on elections and how New York can better prepare for the November election.
Nearly two dozen election officials, voter-access groups, and advocacy groups testified on the impact the coronavirus had on the June primary elections, according to an announcement from the senator’s office.
Officials detailed the challenges local boards of elections experienced mailing absentee ballot applications, processing applications, mailing ballots, and processing ballots, the announcement said, adding that thousands of absentee ballots across the state were thrown out for technical issues like a missing signature or a delayed return of the ballot, some voters didn’t receive their ballot until after the election. There were many recommendations to improve the November election process, May said, adding that the most crucial was adequate funding for staff, outreach/education, and equipment. One method to prevent ballots from being thrown out due to a lack of a postmark is to invest in ballot drop boxes, she said.
May is co-sponsoring a bill that will allow for contactless ballot drop-offs for absentee ballots, the announcement said.
“We have made great strides during the 2019-2020 legislative session to improve New York’s voting laws,” said May. “Now, the current public health crisis has changed how we have to run our elections. Our elections officials performed admirably under highly difficult circumstances during the June primary, and we must work together to address new challenges that the pandemic has presented. I appreciate all of the elections officials and experts who testified on steps we must take to guarantee safe access to the ballot this November.”
May is seeking re-election in the 53rd District. She will face Sam Rodgers, the endorsed Republican candidate, of
The 53rd District contains parts of Onondaga, Madison, and Oneida counties.