New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation that will allow voting by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 pandemic through 2022, her office announced Friday evening.

Continuing a law first put in place in July 2020, this means residents can request an absentee ballot to avoid the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 at polling locations. The initial law expired on Dec. 31.

"No one should have to choose between exercising their right to vote and protecting their health and safety," Gov. Hochul said in a statement. "This legislation will ensure the pandemic does not create inaccessibility for voters during upcoming elections and help protect New Yorkers' access to the ballot."

Hochul in December embraced calls for voters to be able to cast ballots by mail. In her State of the State address earlier this month, she said she wants to reduce the voter registration deadline from 25 days to 10 days prior to Election Day, among other voting priorities.


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