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The original item was published from 8/23/2020 3:37:24 PM to 9/1/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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News & Town Board Reports (gblist)

Posted on: August 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Requesting Bd of Elections authorize town to place secure voting boxes outside GreenburghTown Hall

If there is a second wave of COVID around election day some senior citizens and voters with compromised immune systems will not want to vote inside a crowded polling place --and we can't rely on postal service (as evidenced by what happened on primary day

REQUESTING BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO ALLOW GREENBURGH TO PLACE SECURE VOTING BOX TO COLLECT ABSENTEE BALLOTS OUTSIDE OF GREENBURGH TOWN HALL

Town Hall is location for early voting but some voters with compromised immunity may not want to drop off ballots inside crowded polling places --especially if there is a 2nd COVID wave



Because early voting site is at Town Hall, Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner making formal request to Board of Elections to authorize box outside Greenburgh Town hall

  Many states in the United States place convenient voting boxes outside buildings so voters don’t have to worry about postal service errors or contracting Covid-19 by going into a polling place


Greenburgh Town Superviso Paul Feinerr is making a formal request to the NYS and Westchester County Board of Elections asking NYS to authorize the town to place a secure voting box outside of Greenburgh Town Hall  for voters to place their absentee ballots in 24 hours a day. Many residents have contacted Feiner in recent weeks concerned about the reliability of the US Postal Service in delivering absentee ballots to the Board of Elections.  Other voters, especially those with medical issues, are afraid to drop off their ballots inside Town Hall during early voting days --worried about crowds and the possibility of getting infected with Covid-19.  There are two early voting locations that voters can use in Greenburgh---Greenburgh Town Hall and Dobbs Ferry Village Hall. Feiner thinks secure voting boxes should be placed outside both buildings. 


Many states across the nation have placed voting boxes outside municipal owned locations to encourage voting. I can’t understand why NYS is not doing as much as other states to encourage voter participation.  A second wave of COVID-19 is a possibility in mid October and November. If NYS does not provide voters with the opportunity to take advantage of secure voting boxes outside building and if there is a COVID 2nd wave, voting turnout won’t be as high. During primaries lines were enormous. Some voters in the primary waited till after 11 PM to vote even though polls were supposed to close at 9 PM.  Letting people place their ballots in a secure box 24 hours a day/night would also reduce the  long lines at the polling locations.


COPY OF LETTER FEINER RECEIVED FROM CO CHAIR OF NYS BOARD OF ELECTIONS INDICATING THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CURRENTLY DO NOT HAVE AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE VOTED ABSENTEE BALLOT ENVELOPES



Dear Supervisor Feiner,


I am only one of four commissioners at the State Board of Elections. I suspect, however, that if you made a formal request to the State Board, we would refer the matter to the Westchester Board of Elections.


I do not now how you define a “secure voting box.” Cities, towns and villages do not have the authority to receive voted absentee ballot envelopes. The Westchester Board of Elections has the responsibility to designate early voting sites and for determining how to set up the sites. I recommend that you confer with them on how to configure the early voting sites in your town to address your concerns.


Regards,


Douglas A. Kellner
Co-Chair, New York State Board of Elections

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