Coronavirus is still having an impact on our voting system and processes almost 2 full years after the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the State of New York is trying to take steps to help reduce the strain.

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On Friday, January 21, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill S7565b / Assembly Bill A8432b into law. This new law will allow all regersted voters request an absentee ballot from their local board of elections in an effort to reduce the risk spreading or contracting diseases, like COVID-19, that may cause sickness.

No one should have to choose between exercising their right to vote and protecting their health and safety... This legislation will ensure the pandemic does not create inaccessibility for voters during upcoming elections and help protect New Yorkers' access to the ballot.
-Kathy Hochul, Governor of New York State

This new law is effective immediately and will apply to all elections in New York this year, including any special elections that are happening in February, 2022, and any other relections in 2022. You can click here to request an absentee ballot for Erie County and you can click here to request an absentee ballot for Niagara County. You can also find a list of all of the local Board of Elections to request a ballot here on the State Elections website.

In addition to this new law, Governor Hochul also detailed a few changes she would like to see in 2022, some of which include new rules to strengthen voting rights protections and enacting a new state-level voting rights act to stop voter suppression, requiring voting locations to be on college campuses, and reducing the voter registration deadline from 25 days to 10 days before an election.

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