The Yates County Board of Elections authorized the mailing of 3,500 absentee ballot applications to registered Democratic Party voters May 19. 

“Several other counties are doing the same, and from our position in that line, we expect the applications to be mailed later this week,” say Election Commissioners Bob Brechko and Rob Schwarting. “We have started calling in staff starting Tuesday the 26th to process an expected heavy return of absentee ballot applications. We expect to have all the ballots in the mail before the statutory deadline of June 16 if not by the 6th. “ 

Because of the Coronavirus, this absentee ballot procedure has been ordered by Governor Andrew Cuomo for the June 23 primary only. For everyone’s safety, the Board of Elections is urging voters to take advantage of this one time opportunity.  

“While it is expensive to run both an extensive absentee ballot campaign and in-person voting at nine polling sites,” say the commissioners, “the cost of the absentee voting campaign is being paid for by the Federal Government in order to assure safe federal elections during the height of the virus attack.”

Presidential Primary for Democratic Candidates

The Presidential Primary has been restored and will occur June 23. Hand sanitizers will be available at polling sites, and voters are encouraged to wear face masks when voting.  Practicing social distancing will help keep voters and poll inspectors safer.  Polls will be open on Election Day, the 23rd from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

Early voting

Early voting will also be available in the County Office Building as follows:

• Saturday & Sunday,

June 13 & 14                     

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Monday, June 15;     

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Tuesday, June 16;     

9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Wednesday, June 17;  

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Thursday, June 18; 

9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

• Friday, June 19;          

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Saturday & Sunday, 

June 20 & 21;                   

9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Expanded Absentee Balloting 

Due to the Coronavirus epidemic and the potential for the virus to be lingering in our community, and with concern for the health and safety of poll inspectors and voters, absentee balloting in the June 23 Presidential Primary is strongly encouraged. This opportunity is only available for the June 23 primary.

• An application is being sent to all registered Democrats and a postage paid return envelope will be provided. It must be completed and returned for your vote to count.

• For all valid applications, an absentee ballot will be sent out prior to the election with a postage paid return envelope provided for the voter.

• Instructions will be provided with the ballot.

• All absentee ballots must be mailed on or before June 22.

If you believe you are entitled to this absentee balloting procedure and have not received your application by June 6, please contact the Yates County Board of Elections at 315-536-5135.

For individuals with special needs

During these difficult times, individuals who may have difficulty completing an absentee ballot application or absentee ballot will have access to a Ballot Marking Device starting June 1 in the Yates County Board of Elections Offices.  If the County Office Building is not yet fully open for business, you may gain access to complete a ballot by calling the Board of Elections at 315-536-5135.

Consolidation of voting districts

Election Districts Jerusalem 1 and 4, normally held in the Keuka Park Fire Hall, are being moved to the Branchport Fire Hall. Election District Milo 4, normally held in the Himrod Fire Hall, is being moved to the Penn Yan Academy. Post cards notifying affected voters of these changes will be mailed to their home addresses.