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  7. Budget Vote Integrity Upheld...
Governor Cuomo, by Executive Order, is requiring all school districts to conduct their annual budget vote and Board of Education member elections by absentee ballot only due to COVID-19. The absentee ballot itself, and filling out the absentee ballot return envelope, are probably new for most of our residents. Because of this newness, you may have questions about how we process these absentee ballots, particularly how we ensure voter anonymity when New York State law requires thatthe return envelope must include the voter’s name, address and signature.
We are able to ensure voter anonymity through a two-step processas required by law. First, prior to the ballot envelope being opened, specific Election Inspectors compare the voter’s name and address on the envelope to our registered voter roll to confirm that only residents of the District are voting. These same Election Inspectors make sure the envelope is signed to ensure that no one other than you is using your ballot to cast a vote. Second, once this information has been certified by these Election Inspectors the ballot envelope is opened, the ballot, without being unfolded, is immediately separated from the return envelope and thefoldedballot is passed to a different set of Election Inspectors whose sole job is to record the votes as presented on the ballot.
Again, while most residents have not previously voted using absentee ballots, it is very important for our community to know we are utilizing the same absentee ballot process for this year that has been used in past budget votes and elections for those residents who may have been temporarily out of the area, or for other reasons were unable to cast their ballot in person. Vote integrity and voter anonymity are essential to our budget vote and Board of Education member election and by utilizing this two-step process we are able to safeguard the voting process.