Many voters complained during the June primary that they did not receive absentee ballots in a timely manner after they submitted the requests. And other voters worry that the postal service may lose the absentee ballots in the mail, depriving voters of their right to vote. Or that the ballots arrive after the deadline passed.
Our postal service is not very reliable — many letters are lost, sent to the wrong address. Inasmuch as we can’t count on the Postal Service to send ballots to the right address in time and since voting by mail is important and we want to encourage maximum participation, I have a suggestion: The Board of Elections should place a secure and safe box (similar to a mail box) at each Town, Village and City Hall. If voters don’t trust the Post Office, they would be able drop off their ballots at the municipal building. If people apply for a ballot and do not receive one before the primary, each municipal building should have extra ballots that the voter can obtain and send in. During the recent primary contest the Board of Elections assumed the cost of the postage. The cost of my suggestion would be offset by reduced postage costs. In addition, most municipal buildings have video cameras for security purposes, so these boxes would be placed at safe locations, unlikely to be tampered with.
This recommendation, if followed, will increase voter participation and help make sure that everyone who wants to vote actually does vote. In June, in one legislative district in Brooklyn, about 20 percent of the ballots cast by absentee ballot were thrown out. Other states that have mail in ballots also don’t count ballots that arrive too late.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor