There are 11.7 million registered voters in New York. 

Good-government advocates and Republicans alike raised objections to the idea -- floated this week -- of directly mailing each of them a ballot in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at polling locations. 

Elections commissioners, for starters, lack the infrastructure or experience with such an undertaking, said Republican Chairman Nick Langwrothy. 

"They don't believe there's any way, especially in the larger counties, that the numbers of mailing the ballots to every single register voter could ever be achieved," Langworthy said. 

And then there's the cost and on-the-fly experimentation with democracy in the middle of a pandemic. 

"You have people who have never voted in a primary in their life that would be mailed a ballot to vote in a primary," Lagnwrothy said. "They may not even be aware of the candidates or the choices on the ballot. They may choose to note vote in a circumstance like that."

Voting during the pandemic -- balancing the basic needs of democracy with public health -- will present a challenge this year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo previously this month expanded the ability of voters to apply for and receive an absentee ballot for the June 26 primary, essentially ending the need for excuses to receive one.

But voting by mail would be a different under taking for the state to roll out, and constitutionally questionable. Absentee ballots account for only 2 percent of New York's overall vote total every election. 

And Langworthy isn't alone in opposition. Good-government advocates in normal times would want a vote by mail option, but Common Cause's Susan Lerner says local elections officials don't have the technology in place to make it work. 

"The truth of the matter is New York is simply not prepared to make the leap to an all vote by mail system without disenfranchising  tens, if not hundreds of thousands of New York voters," she said. 

Instead, Lerner believes New York should make it easier for voters to apply for absentee ballot and extend the weeks of early voting. 

"Early voting is a very effective way to disburse voters over a long time period so you don't have crowding at the polls," Lerner said.