Absentee Ballots

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Thousands of absentee ballots were being mailed out Friday in parts of Western New York. As expected, concerns for COVID have resulted in a sharp rise in requests.

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The ACLU of New York, Common Cause and other advocacy groups are asking New York to mandate pre-paid postage for absentee ballots in the November general election. But the state's budget office says doing so would require more federal funds.

Erie County

Absentee ballot requests are piling up at the Erie County Board of Elections with Election Day eight weeks away. Already, there have been nearly 40,000.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed executive orders that he said will help ensure safe and secure voting in November’s elections.

Ryan Zunner / WBFO News

Erie County's elections commissioners may meet with U.S. Postal Service officials this week to make sure the cutbacks at Buffalo's main post office on William Street and in Rochester aren't going to interfere with voting by mail in November.

New York will immediately allow all voters in the state to request a mail-in ballot for the November elections. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed bills into law Thursday that, among other things, allow all eligible voters to cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to vote absentee.

USPS Inspector General

The mass of debris behind Buffalo's Main Post Office on William Street is part of five mail-sorting machines removed since the June primary election. The president of the union representing workers he isn't sure an avalanche of mail ballots for the presidential election in November can be sorted without those machines.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

People choosing to vote by absentee ballot would be able to deposit their ballots in special dropoff boxes, under a bill announced this morning by two local state legislators.

Pat Bradley / WAMC News

The June 23 primary was the first in New York to allow all voters the option of casting their ballots by mail. Under an executive order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, registered voters could cite the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for filling out an absentee ballot. The New York State Legislature held a hearing Tuesday on the primary elections to find out what went right and what went wrong.

WBFO file photo / WBFO News

New York State voters have three options for voting in the upcoming primary election on June 23rd.

Erie County Board of Elections

The traditional march to the polls might wind up being a march to the post office in this COVID-19 year.

WBFO / WBFO News

The Erie County Board of Elections is extending the hours for absentee voting ahead of the midterm elections.

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You may think Election 2012 is over, but not at the Erie County Board of Elections.  Not only is the vote count released on Election Day unofficial, it doesn't include thousands of absentee ballots.

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With Election Day getting closer, the Erie County Board of Elections is dealing with an avalanche of absentee ballot applications and the problems of getting absentee ballots to the military overseas because of problems in Albany.

County Republican Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr tells WBFO News there may be as many as 26,000 absentee ballots going out by the end of the elections season.