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Cuomo Offers Way to 'Fix' Mail-In Ballots

New York state's governor says voters should be able to amend errors
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 22, 2020 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Anticipating a wave of mail-in voting this fall, New York state will now give voters a chance to correct missing signatures and other clerical errors so their absentee ballots can be counted—but the exact provisions haven't yet been made public after last-minute negotiations between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers, the AP reports. Cuomo said late Friday he'd sign—yet temporarily tweak—legislation that calls for notifying voters about such problems and provides for fixing them. Under the version that passed the Legislature last month, the voter would have seven business days to file a form to fix the problem after a notice was mailed, in many situations. Cuomo, a Democrat, said he agreed voters should be able to correct inadvertent mistakes that would otherwise invalidate their mail-in votes.

But he said the Legislature's plan came too close to the Nov. 3 presidential election, requiring a series of notifications and mailings that would overtax election officials. "New York must balance the right to vote with the need to ensure a timely, seamless and operationally sound election that leaves no doubt as to its outcome," he wrote in a memo, saying he and lawmakers had agreed on "temporary modifications" that would give voters an opportunity to correct slip-ups "without relying so heavily on an already burdened mail system." The original legislation will take effect after November, Cuomo's memo said. His memo didn't give further details on the temporary changes, saying they'd be made in an executive order and possibly in further legislation.

(Read more mail-in voting stories.)

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