NEW YORK (WABC) -- Citing concerns over the coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expanding absentee balloting for the November election.
He signed into law sweeping a three-part package that includes new measures allowing absentee ballot applications to be submitted to the Board of Elections immediately.
This law allows a voter to get an absentee ballot due to risk or fear of illness including COVID-19 and ensures all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark on the day after the election will be counted.
Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by November 10.
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"The federal administration has ordered an unprecedented attack on the U.S. Postal Service and with COVID-19 threatening our ability to have safe, in-person voting, these measures are critical to ensuring a successful and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation's history," Governor Cuomo said.
New York is joining a growing number of states allowing most voters to vote by mail.
The state has more than 12 million registered voters.
Election officials warn of an even bigger flood of mail-in votes in November than the June primary, which delayed results for six weeks.
Election officers worked through the pandemic to process 1.8 million requests for absentee ballots in a primary that saw nearly 40% of votes cast by absentee votes - a monumental sum in a state whose long-restrictive absentee voting system involves fewer than 1-in-10 voters in typical elections.
People can still cast their ballots In person, and officials are encouraging those people to vote at early polling sites starting on October 24
Election day is set for November 3.
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