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Your rights as a New Yorker who voted by absentee ballot under state's new “notice and cure” law

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Posted at 4:20 PM, Nov 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 16:20:11-05

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Attorney General Letitia James issued an alert Tuesday to New Yorkers who voted by absentee ballot.

James says under the state's new “notice and cure” law voters must be notified if their absentee ballots are being rejected for errors they may have made in filling out their ballots. Voters must also be given the opportunity to fix the errors within an allotted time period.

“Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy,” said Attorney General James. “Every voter has a right to have their voice heard, and it’s important that they are empowered with information to make sure their voice is heard. With the record number of first-time absentee ballots, we hope this information proves useful to voters who may need to fix an inadvertent error with their ballot.”

The attorney general's office says local Boards of Election must notify the voter as soon as possible if their ballot needs to be corrected. The following are some errors that could have been made:

  • The oath envelope is unsigned;
  • The oath envelope signature does not appear to correspond to the signature on file;
  • The oath envelope does not have the required witness to a mark where voter assistance is provided;
  • The ballot is returned in the return envelope either with an unsealed oath envelope, or completely without an oath envelope;
  • The oath envelope is signed by the person that has provided voter assistance, but is not signed or marked by the voter; or
  • The voter has failed to sign the oath envelope and someone else has signed the oath envelope (i.e. power of attorney).

"If voters received a notice of deficiency between October 27 and November 3, they have seven days to address the issue to ensure their vote is counted. If the ballot is received on or after November 3, voters have five days from when they receive notification by email, mail, or phone to cure any deficiencies," the attorney general's office said.

Any voter who has questions or concerns can contact the election hotline at 1-800-771-7755, submit complaints online or email election.hotline@ag.ny.gov.