County sending 24,000 applications this week for voters who may want absentee ballots

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 May 2020 at 6:25 pm

Federal CARES funding directs $46K to Orleans for added elections costs

ALBION – Registered voters in Orleans County this week should receive applications in the mail whether they want an absentee ballot for the June 23 primary and special election.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order on April 24 mandating that the New York State Board of Elections automatically mail every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot.

In Orleans County, the Board of Elections is mailing that application this week to about 24,000 registered voters.

They need to fill out the application and send it back in a postage-paid envelope to then receive an absentee ballot.

It will cost the county $1.95 for every application that is mailed and then returned by mail. The absentee ballots will cost $1.15 for the postage, sending it to each voter and then with the return postage.

The Board of Elections knows it has 24,000 of the ballot applications to mail. A big wild card is how many voters will return the application and want an absentee ballot.

“We have no idea how many we’ll get back,” said Kathy Case, an elections commissioner for the county. “We’re not even estimating.”

Voters still have the option of voting in person from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 23. There will also be early voting from June 13 to June 21 to cast ballots in person. Elections officials urge voters who go to the polls to wear masks or facial coverings.

The county has been approved for $46,022 in federal CARES funding to help with the added costs with the primary and election.

Those costs won’t be fully known until the BOE receives applications back in the mail. The BOE will pay the postage for returned applications. At that point, the BOE will also know how many absentee ballots it needs to send.

Special election on June 23 will include the following candidates to fill the vacant 27th Congressional District:

  • Nathan D. McMurray – Democratic, Working Families
  • Chris Jacobs – Republican, Independence
  • Michael J. Gammariello – Green
  • Duane Whitmer – Libertarian

The seat was vacated on Sept. 30 with the resignation of Chris Collins, who pleaded guilty to an insider trading scheme.

Democratic Presidential Primary: There will also be a Democratic Presidential Primary that day. The candidates include Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang.

Republican Primary for 27th:  There will also be a Republican primary on June 23 to see who gets the Republican line in the November election for a full two-year term. Jacobs, Beth Parlato and Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw are pursuing the Republican line.

Local primaries include County Clerk, Republican Committees in Ridgeway and Murray

Orleans County Clerk: There are two Republican candidates running for Orleans County Clerk. Diane Shampine is the current acting clerk. She assumed the post after Karen Lake-Maynard retired. Shampine was Lake-Maynard’s deputy clerk for 14 years. Nadine Hanlon, current clerk of the County Legislature, also is seeking the position. Hanlon is also a former Kendall town clerk. She is a current member of the Kendall Board of Education.

• Republican Committees in Murray and Ridgeway: There are also primaries to pick members for Republican Committees in Murray and Ridgeway.

In Murray, there are primaries for three of the districts, with three candidates seeking two positions in District 3, District 5 and District 6.

In District 3, the candidates include Kathleen Case, Anthony Peone and Kerri Neale.

In District 5, the candidates include Lynn Wood, Cynthia Oliver and Ronald Vendetti.

In District 6, the candidates include Kellie Gregoire, Robert Miller and Adam R. Moore.

In Ridgeway, there are three candidates for two positions with District 2 on the Ridgeway Republican Committee. The candidates include Virginia Nicholson, David Stalker and Ayesha Kreutz.

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