School election ballot confusion continues as deadline looms

Late ballots, missing ballots, incorrect ballots....this year's school board elections, forced to be conducted via absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic, have been riddled with problems.

Posted: Jun 5, 2020 5:21 PM
Updated: Jun 5, 2020 5:43 PM

Late ballots, missing ballots, incorrect ballots -- this year's school board elections, forced to be conducted via absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic, have been riddled with problems. The deadline to for school districts to receive the ballots is 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 9. But some voters in some local school districts have not yet received their ballots. Among them, Holland Patent School Board Candidate, David Julian.

"We haven't got our ballots now. Some people go away for the weekend, you know, people are on vacation and all, people haven't got their ballots, they're not gonna be able to vote," said Julian.

Holland Patent's school superintendent says they've used the same data service company for years, always without issue, until now.

"They had sent us some information that there was some supply shortages throughout the state and also a Covid-related issue at the company itself, so we had to wait for some clearance for our ballots to be released," said HP Superintendent, Jason Evangelist. "Things dropped to us in the mail today and tomorrow should get to us by Tuesday, 5:00 the deadline. There's also drop off at the Holland Patent post office up until they close on Tuesday, we'll have in time."

Holland Patent has locked receptacles outside the district offices for those who receive their ballot late, and need to drop it off in person. The receptacles are under camera surveillance, locked, and secured to the building.

Holland Patent isn't the only district having problems with their absentee ballots. The Westmoreland Central School District put a message on their website, warning voters that some might have received a ballot for another school district, and to disregard the incorrect ballot, and contact the district clerk for a Westmoreland ballot. The Whitesboro Central School District says statewide supply shortages delayed the shipping of their ballots to the district, but that they mailed 15,000 on Tuesday and everyone should have it by now. Senator James Tedisco, who represents part of Herkimer County, has asked Governor Cuomo to sign an executive order, extending Tuesday's deadline by one week.

"Both sides of the aisle right now are calling for more time. One more week. What damage could it possibly do?" says Tedisco.

Governor Cuomo says he'll make a decision on Sunday.

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