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17,000 Monroe County voters received absentee rejection letters, have to reapply to vote absentee in November

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Mail-in ballots for the 2016 General Election at the elections ballot center in Salt Lake City. As President Donald Trump rails against voting by mail, many members of his own political party are embracing it to keep their voters safe during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Approximately 17,000 registered voters in Monroe County who applied for an absentee ballot, received a letter from the Monroe County Board of Elections informing that their application was unable to be processed “due to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.28.”

The rejection applied to those voters who filled out an absentee ballot between May 12 and June 19 and selected “temporary illness or physical disability” in section 1 and selected “any election held between these dates” in section 2.

“The reason for this was because for the June Primary Election when these voters applied to vote by absentee ballot, they had checked to also receive an absentee ballot in the 2020 General Election,” Commissioner of the Democratic Monroe County Board of Elections Jackie Ortiz explained in a statement.

MORE | New York state launches absentee ballot request portal

“At the time, however, the Governor’s Executive order solely applied to the primary.  Subsequently, these voters were passed over when absentee ballot applications were mailed out in August as they were already designated in the system as having signed up for absentee voting for the General Election.”

Ortiz said because of this, each of those voters must submit a new application if they want to vote by absentee in November.

“Fortunately, this process can now be used for the General Election because the NYS Legislature has since passed a change to the NYS Statue which the Governor signed into law that allows this choice for future elections,” a statement from the Board of Elections said.

For those affected:

  • Visit https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/ and you may complete the application through the online portal
  • Call in to the Board of Elections if you do not have online access and staff can complete with you by phone 585-753-1550
  • Email mcboe@monroecounty.gov to request it be redone

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