All Erie County voters can cast absentee ballots on April 28

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Photo credit Erie County Board of Elections. November 19, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – The Erie County Board of Elections is allowing all voters the ability to cast an absentee ballot due to the coronavirus emergency.

State law allows the board to cite a public health emergency as one reason for someone to request an absentee ballot. Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York due to coronavirus last week.

The absentee ballots are available for the April 28 election that encompasses both the special election for the 27th congressional district and the democratic primary.

Here’s a sample absentee ballot application. Notice the highlight acknowledging #coronavirus

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 “Erie County has the largest number of polling places of any county in Western New York,” Republican Commissioner Ralph Mohr said. “We have the most sites and the longest hours of any early voting in the entire State of New York, yet we are cognizant of the challenges that perpetuation of the COVID-19 virus can have on our elected franchise.”

To obtain an absentee ballot, one must either call the board of elections and request an absentee ballot or visit the board of elections website, download the appropriate form, and mail it to the board of elections in Buffalo.

“The final day to postmark your absentee ballot is April 21,” Democratic Commissioner Jeremy Zellner said. “We just wanted to make sure people who are going to vote in the presidential primary on April 28 or the special election on that day know they have options and we didn’t want them to wait any longer for them to know that.”