Absentee Ballots and Voter Privacy

Pursuant to Executive Order 202.26 issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo on May 1, 2020, voting for the June 9, 2020 budget vote and board election will take place exclusively by absentee ballot. Several residents have expressed curiosity as to how the privacy of their vote will be protected, given that they must return the absentee ballot in an envelope that bears their name, address and signature.

In compliance with NYS Education Law, at  5:00 p.m. on June 9, the district clerk will deliver all received ballots to the election inspectors and poll workers, still sealed in their affirmation envelopes. Those individuals will be located at our high school and will be working in groups of three, with one individual in the group reading the voter’s name and address from the front of the envelope and checking the reverse side for the appropriate signature, while a second individual will verify the voter’s name in the registration book. If all is in order, the envelope will be opened by the first individual and the folded ballot will be withdrawn and deposited into a ballot box while still folded, without being looked at. The third individual will observe the process and assure these steps are properly followed.

After all envelopes have been opened and all folded ballots deposited in the ballot box,  the envelopes will be shuffled and the ballot box will be opened and the folded ballots inside will also be shuffled. This helps to assure no one knows which envelope and ballot originally belonged together.

Once the opening process is completed as outlined above, the ballots will be removed from the box and unfolded and, still working in groups of three, one individual will read the ballot, a second individual will enter the results on a tally sheet and the third individual will observe the first two to verify the accuracy of the counting process.

Tags: