New York Lawmakers Work to Avoid Problems With Absentee Ballots

July 27, 2020

New York Lawmakers Work to Avoid Problems With Absentee Ballots

On July 8, Campaign Legal Center and pro bono partner Selendy & Gay filed a lawsuit on behalf of a coalition of groups urging a federal court to change New York State’s flawed absentee ballot verification requirements in time for the 2020 General Election. 

Last week, the New York State Senate passed a bill providing voters an opportunity to resolve challenges to their absentee ballots, fixing a process that did not give voters notice that their ballot would be rejected. The board of elections will be required to inform absentee voters by phone or email, as well as mail, of clerical errors with their ballot and give them an opportunity to fix it.

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Joshua Margolin, who represents the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said the passed bill protects voters from having their ballots invalidated without their knowledge. It will be crucial in the general election, he said.

“People really ought to have the right to say, my vote should count here, that is my signature, that’s me.”

New York has consistently had one of the highest absentee ballot rejection rates in the country. In the 2018 general election, state election officials discarded more than 34,000 absentee ballots – or about 14% of all absentee ballots cast.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).