Voting changes amid COVID-19 pandemic, how to get absentee ballot

Local News

BINGHAMTON, NY – The deadline to register to vote in this year’s general election is coming up in 2 weeks.

The last day to register is Friday October 9th.

There are a number of voting changes this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief among them is the access to absentee ballots for anyone who is uncomfortable voting in person due to the virus.

Registered voters must request an absentee from the Broome County Board of Elections, and then check the temporary illness box.

They must then be postmarked by election day, November 3rd, or they can be dropped off at the Board of Elections or any early voting location or poll site on Election Day.

“We’re going to check at the Board of Elections to make sure that you’re a registered voter. And only registered voters that are entitled to vote are going to get an absentee ballot mailed to them. So, we’re very confident that only registered voters are going to be casting ballots,” says Democratic Election Commissioner Dan Reynolds.

Reynolds recommends voters consider early voting sites as they saw smaller crowds during the primary election earlier this year.

Early voting runs 9 days across 2 weekends prior to Election Day.

Sites are the Oakdale Mall, the George F Johnson Library in Endicott and the Broome County Library in downtown Binghamton.

Polling sites will be outfitted with plexiglass, poll inspectors will be wearing face masks, physical distancing will be enforced and machinery will be sanitized between voters.

Nevertheless, the Board of Elections has lost some poll workers and poll sites due to COVID concerns.

To become a paid poll worker, or to request an absentee ballot, call 778-2172 or go to BroomeVotes.com

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