June’s school budget vote will be by absentee ballot

Updated: May. 21, 2020 at 3:01 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - One thing we all have in common right now - we are all learning to do things differently, and this year’s school budget vote will be one of them.

"There are elements that will stay the same and there are elements that will be very different," said Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Superintendent Stephen Todd, who heads 18 districts.

What will stay the same? Districts will send postcards to each household.

They will still hold budget hearings at least a week ahead of the vote, but that will happen virtually this year.

And then on June 9, 3 weeks later than normal, people will cast their vote.

"But it will be entirely through the absentee ballot," said Todd.

In early March, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order, which requires all New York school districts to send a ballot to all eligible voters by mail. Return postage must be included and all of the costs involved fall on the districts.

“Even our smallest districts are looking at thousands and thousands of dollars in expense - unanticipated and un-budgeted,” said Todd.

"It's going to cost our school district, which is a very, very small school district, somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000," said Travis Hoover, LaFargeville Central School District superintendent.

School staff spent Thursday stuffing nearly 2,000 envelopes.

"We're going to get them out as soon as we can to our taxpayers. We know how important it is to get out ballots out to them and we want to do that," said Hoover.

If you do not receive a ballot by early June, contact your school district. Ballots need to be in no later than 5 p.m. on June 9 to be counted.

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