NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The coronavirus pandemic is top of mind as voters consider going to the polls, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order to make voting easier this year.
New Yorkers will have more options for the 2020 presidential election.
“It’s so much better to vote in person. You vote, you go up, you get your stuff, you sign it,” one woman said.
But with COVID-19, many voters want to avoid the lines and crowds at the polls.
“Personally, like, I might be able to go in, but I would prefer to just send in my ballot,” student Rosalin Stoykap said.
“I would prefer to do a mail-in vote,” said Denise Sullington, of Dix Hills.
Under the governor’s executive order, in addition to in-person voting and mail-in ballots, New Yorkers will be able to drop off absentee ballots at 300-plus Board of Election sites statewide.
“Because of COVID this year, you can vote by absentee or you can vote early, vote in-person,” Cuomo said.
RELATED STORY: Early Voting In New York City Starts Oct. 24
The state already has a law on the books making it much simpler for you to vote if you’re working; an employer has to give you the time if you need it.
“If you can go vote before your shift or after your shift, that’s preferable, but if it has to be done within the work day, your employer can give you up to two hours of paid leave,” said Edgar Ndjatou, executive director of WorkplaceFairness.org.
New Jersey and Connecticut do not have the same law.
Poll watchers say no matter where you are, if you want to be smart, you better have a plan.
“If they are planning to vote absentee, but it’s getting too close to the election and they’re running out of time, they should know in their minds that they could still show up to vote in person if they’re not able to submit that absentee ballot,” said Professor Douglas Spencer, of UConn School of Law.
After a June primary where results in New York came slowly, in part due to a deluge of mail-in ballots, city officials say in November, there will be no room for error.
“Given New York’s recent history, do you have concerns?” CBS2’s Dick Brennan asked Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“Yes, of course there are concerns. We have not been able to get it right far too often, and we continue to say, ‘Wait until next year.’ This is the year, we must get it right,” Adams said.
Election Day is eight weeks away.
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