Absentee voting for the state’s presidential and local primaries in June will be extended to all New Yorkers due to the coronavirus pandemic, to prevent voters from gathering in growds at the polls to cast their ballot.

Coming on the heels of Tuesday’s Wisconsin presidential primary that forced thousands of voters to line up at the polls, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced he will issue an executive order to allow voters to cast ballots by absentee on June 23.

That is the date of New York’s presidential and state primaries, as well as a special election in Queens — although Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday, making former Vice President Joe Biden the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and rendering the remaining primaries ceremonial since all his major competitors have ended their White House bids.

“I’ve seen lines of people on television voting in other states. This is totally nonsensical,” Cuomo said. “God bless them for having such diligence for their civic duty that they would go stand on a line to vote. People shouldn’t have to make that choice.”

The governor said the order will add the risk of attracting COVID-19 as a reason to vote absentee.

New Yorkers can apply for an absentee ballot at the state Board of Elections website.

That application must be mailed in by June 16.


Looking for an easy way to learn about the issues affecting New York City?

Listen to our "Off Topic/On Politics" podcast: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Stitcher | RSS


This story included reporting from Zack Fink.



What to Do If You Test Positive for COVID-19

How Hospitals Protect Against the Spread of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Likely Spreads Without Symptoms

Coronavirus: The Fight to Breathe

Cuomo Orders Non-Essential Workers to Stay Home

NYC Businesses to Be Fined If Caught Price Gouging Face Masks

MTA Crews Cleaning to Prevent Coronavirus Spread

Cuomo Granted Broad New Powers as New York Tackles Coronavirus