New York Governor Cuomo signs new laws to expand mail-in voting

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday signed a bill to expand mail-in voting across the state ahead of the general election in November. The new laws allow voters to request absentee ballots if they are at risk of or fear contracting an illness, including coronavirus.

New Yorkers may begin requesting absentee ballots immediately. Ballots with postmarks showing they were mailed on or before Election Day (November 3) will be counted if they are received by November 10.

“These actions will further break down barriers to democracy and will make it easier for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote this November,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Long lines in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic at primaries in Wisconsin, in Georgia, and at a Texas runoff election, have created an unprecedented call for mail-in ballots for the November election.

Cuomo’s announcement comes shortly after the U.S. Postal Service sent letters to several states with warnings that their mail-in ballots may not be counted in time because their provisions for voting by mail “are incongruous” with post office delivery standards.

President Trump has been criticizing the practice of mail-in voting for weeks. Yet, he still plans to vote absentee — ballots for Florida’s primary election were mailed to both the president and first lady Melania Trump at the Mar-a-Lago resort, which Mr. Trump lists as his legal address, the Associated Press reported, citing Palm Beach County elections records.

In his announcement, Cuomo criticized the Trump administration’s attacks on the Postal Service: “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.”

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