Submitted by Sen. Patty Ritchie
State Sen. Patty Ritchie says a bill she co-sponsored that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law today will help soldiers who are risking their lives have the opportunity to vote in special elections.
“I am very pleased to see New York State helping to make sure that our military personnel who are defending our way of life will have an opportunity to participate in their special local elections,” she said. The law changes the current system in which special elections were held between 30 to 40 days after they were called by the governor.
The new law increases the time to 70 to 80 days, giving local boards of election time to send ballots to military personnel overseas. The new law brings New York’s law in line with federal laws.
“Our brave men and women who are deployed overseas have a right to participate in the electoral process they are risking their lives to defend,” she said. “I am glad to see that election officials will now have adequate time to finalize and send out ballots to our military personnel in time for them to vote and have their ballots counted.”
“Here in the 48th Senate District this is very important to New Yorkers deployed from Fort Drum,” she said. “But it’s just as important to our National Guard and Reserve personnel who are being asked to leave their homes and families to serve overseas as well as New Yorkers who are serving in all branches of our military forces around the world.”