Affidavit ballots - what are they and what’s their role in November’s election?

WWNY Affidavit ballots - what are they and what’s their role in November’s election?

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - As November's election draws closer, the state is taking steps to make sure everyone's voice is heard. Those steps include a faster count of a less often used form of voting.

In the run-up to November's general election, Governor Andrew Cuomo is making changes to how elections in New York will look.

Concern about contracting COVID-19 has already been added as a reason to request an absentee ballot.

And now, the governor has issued an executive order, in part, to get votes counted faster.

"Any reporting of affidavit ballots by counties to the state board to compare to absentee ballots must be completed 48 hours after the election," said Jennie Bacon, St. Lawrence County Democratic elections commissioner.

An affidavit ballot is filled out if you show up to vote, but elections workers don't have your information.

So, why would that happen?

"For example, if you've moved, but you haven't updated your information with us," said Jefferson County Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Michelle LaFave.

She says all boards of elections in New York have to put together a list of affidavit voters to send to the state "who distributes it to the other counties, so we can compare all of our affidavits and our absentees against who voted in the other counties to prevent any double votes."

Bacon says that needs to get done in 48 hours and the governor's order will have her office shifting priorities.

"Obviously these lists and getting them turned around to the state will be one of our top priorities," she said.

Both LaFave and Bacon say getting the list off to the state in two days is a task their offices will be able to tackle.

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