Bill Signed by Governor to Allow Absentee Voting Because of Coronavirus Will Keep NYers Safe

By AARP NY | August 20, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y.— AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement today in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo signing into law a bill to allow voters to cite concern about the coronavirus as a legitimate reason to request an absentee ballot for the November elections (S8015D–Biaggi/A10833– Dinowitz):

“Older voters in our state should not have to risk their lives or their health to exercise their right to vote. With the pandemic still upon us, all registered voters should be able to cast their ballots safely from home if they choose in the November general election.

“Older New Yorkers have historically voted at higher rates than younger residents, but they’re at higher risk of contracting severe disease and dying from COVID-19.

“AARP New York thanks Governor Cuomo for signing this common sense measure into law, and Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz for sponsoring and championing this legislation to protect New Yorkers’ safety while ensuring they can make their voices heard on issues that matter like lowering prescription drug costs, protecting nursing home residents and workers, and supporting family caregivers.

“AARP will work to ensure adequate trained staff and adequate sorting and counting equipment to handle the expected increased volume of absentee ballots.

“We are also working to educate voters on the options they have to vote safely, whether it be absentee, early voting, or on Election Day. We’re working to ensure voters know how to apply for an absentee ballot – which now includes online ballot applications thanks to this new law – where and when early voting is available, and other information to empower voters as we head toward November.”

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.