Metzger introduces automatic vote-by-mail bill in wake of COVID-19

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ALBANY – In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, State Senator Jen Metzger (D, Rosendale) has introduced a bill requiring the board of elections to develop a plan for a vote-by-mail election during a time of emergency, allowing state residents to cast their June 2020 ballots by mail should the public health crisis continue.

Under Metzger’s plan, all eligible voters would receive a ballot in the mail and vote by mailing it back or depositing it at a designated location.

“At this point there is a lot of uncertainty, but this public health crisis could last for months and we really need to have a plan in place that protects the health and safety of election workers and of voters while not sacrificing voter turnout,” she said. “People need to still have a way of safely voting.”

The senator said it is “just common sense” to prepare now if the current public health crisis extends to the June primary and beyond.