REGION — The 2020 General Election is already historic. For New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians specifically, it’s going to be carried out in an unprecedented way. More voters than ever before …
REGION — The 2020 General Election is already historic. For New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians specifically, it’s going to be carried out in an unprecedented way. More voters than ever before will cast their ballots, well ahead of Election Day, without even leaving their homes. While living through a pandemic means that virtually everything is in flux and subject to change, the following is a guide to voting in this year’s election, as things currently stand:
U.S. House NY District 19 — Antonio Delgado, the Democratic incumbent, is facing the Republican Party’s Kyle Van De Water, the Green Party’s Steven Greenfield and the Libertarian Party’s Victoria Alexander.
NYS Senate District 42 — Jen Metzger, the Democratic incumbent, is facing the Republican Party’s Mike Martucci.
Sullivan County District Attorney — Meagan Galligan, the Democratic acting DA, is facing the Republican Party’s Frank LaBuda.
Registering to vote — The last day to register in-person to vote for the November 3 General Election is Friday, October 9. Registration applications sent in the mail must be postmarked no later than October 9 and received by the local board of elections no later than Wednesday, October 14.
Applying for an absentee ballot — The last day to apply online, by email, fax, or postmark for an absentee ballot is technically Tuesday, October 27. However, the NYS Board of Elections is advising residents that the U.S. Postal Service cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before the election—Monday, October 19. The last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person is Monday, November 2
Casting an absentee ballot — The last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Tuesday, November 3, but it must be received by the board of elections no later than Tuesday, November 10; military voter ballots must be received no later than Friday, November 16.
In-person early voting — Sullivan County residents can vote early at the government center in Monticello from Saturday, October 24 to Sunday, November 1. Hours vary daily. Find more information at www.sullivanny.us/Departments/Elections.
Absentee portal open — The New York State Board of Elections has created a one-stop absentee ballot web portal that will allow all registered voters to apply for an absentee ballot online. The web portal is live at www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html
Absentee guarantee — Due to recent legislation, New York has opened up its absentee qualifications to include, “Unable to appear at the polls... due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19.”
Sullivan County Board of Elections — 100 North St., PO Box 5012, Monticello, NY 12701; 845/807-0400; email@example.com
U.S. House PA District 8 — Matt Cartwright, the Democratic incumbent, is facing the Republican Party’s Jim Bognet.
PA House District 189 — Rosemary Brown, the Republican incumbent, is facing the Democratic Party’s Adam Rodriguez.
PA House District 139 — Michael Peifer, the Republican incumbent, is facing the Democratic Party’s Marian Keegan.
Registering to vote — The last day to register to vote is Monday, October 19. Applications can be submitted at www.pavoterservices.pa.gov, in person at the local elections office or mailed to the elections office.
Applying for a mail-in ballot — The last day to apply for either a mail-in or civilian absentee ballots is Tuesday, October 27.
Casting a mail-in ballot — The last day for county boards of elections to receive mail-in and civilian absentee ballots is Tuesday, November 3, no later than 8 p.m.
PA’s election code — At press time, Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP lawmakers in the General Assembly are still negotiating how to amend the commonwealth’s election code to help the General Election run smoothly. The governor wants to see four main changes: 1) allow counties to begin counting mail-in ballots sooner; 2) require counties to send mail-in ballots out to voters sooner; 3) allow counties to count mail-in ballots that were postmarked but not delivered on time; and 4) relax restrictions on counties to fill vacant poll worker positions. PA’s Senate has answered with a proposal that would satisfy most of the governor’s requests but also move up the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot from Tuesday, October 27 to Monday, October 19. What changes are put into place remain to be seen.
Court decisions — The judicial system could significantly impact the way Pennsylvanians vote this year. The Wolf administration is asking the state Supreme Court to order county boards of elections to count ballots postmarked by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3 if they are valid and received within three days following the Election Day. PA’s highest court last week also took over a case filed by the Democratic Party, which is similarly asking for an extension on the mail-in ballot submission deadline among other requests to make voting-by-mail more accessible to residents. Conversely, Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has sued Pennsylvania in a federal court and is calling for tighter restrictions on mail-in voting, citing concerns about ballot security. The federal judge in the president’s case has decided to wait and base his decision on what the state courts do.
Wayne County Board of Elections — 925 Court St., Honesdale, PA 18431; 570/253-5978; www.waynecountypa.gov/203/home.
Pike County Board of Elections — 506 Broad St., Milford, PA 18337; 570/296-3427 ext. 1094; www.pikepa.org/elections.