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Make sure your vote is counted

Kathy Werner - Columnist
Posted 10/29/20

In New York State, if your absentee ballot is postmarked by November 3 and received by November 10, it can be counted.

However, with the deliberate disruption of postal service since Trump minion …

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Make sure your vote is counted


In New York State, if your absentee ballot is postmarked by November 3 and received by November 10, it can be counted.

However, with the deliberate disruption of postal service since Trump minion Louis DeJoy has taken over the USPS, it is no longer certain that mail-in ballots will be delivered on time.

Because of this, voters with absentee ballots are urged to deliver them directly to the Board of Elections or to an official polling place on Election Day.

Trump has been trying to delegitimize mail-in voting. On Wednesday he said, “We'll see what happens at the end of [Election Day]. Hopefully, the few states remaining that want to take a lot of time after November 3 to count ballots, that won't be allowed by the various courts.”

Of course, legitimately cast ballots are often counted after Election Day, as they have always been.

Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Chris Murphy and Tammy Duckworth released a statement to reassure Americans that ballot counting does not stop on November 3.

They write: “In America, we count the votes to determine who wins an election. Despite the incorrect assertions from President Trump and Justice Kavanaugh, election officials across the country accept ballots well after Election Day every year, and results are not certified until the votes are counted and a canvas to confirm the results is conducted. Absentee ballots counted after election day do not ‘flip the results of an election,' as Justice Kavanaugh claimed. They are the results of the election.”

“These are not new rules and they do not serve any political party. It is on all of us to reject misinformation and to tell the truth.”

Thank you, Senators.

All this talk of counting ballots after Election Day reminded me of this story, found in the pages of the Democrat on November 15, 2013.

“MONTICELLO—Elections Commissioner Rodney Gaebel confirmed that incumbent Delaware Councilman John Gain currently has exactly the same amount of overall votes as his challenger, John Murphy: 453.

Gain was leading Murphy by 23 votes in the general election last week, but when absentees were counted, Murphy handily eliminated that gap, garnering 49 absentee ballots as compared to Gain's 26.

Gaebel said the Board of Elections is awaiting possibly one or two more military absentee ballots to arrive by Tuesday, Nov. 19, but if the tie remains when the official recount is completed, it'll be up to the town board to take action.

Gaebel explained that, in the event of a tie, the state will declare a “failure to elect” and will empower the Delaware Town Board to appoint an interim councilmember.

That person - likely to be Gain, considering the current makeup of the board - will serve from January to December of 2014.

An election will then be held next November for voters to select who will sit in that seat for the remaining three years of its term.

Was it one ballot that could have made the difference…?

Interestingly, one Town of Delaware absentee ballot had to be withdrawn.

Shirley Stabbert of Callicoon filed her absentee ballot in mid-October but took ill during the end of the month and passed away on November 3, two days before Election Day.

According to state law, her absentee ballot had to be cancelled.

“I guess that means it will be the first time she hasn't voted in the past 66 years,” said her son, Fred Stabbert III. “She knew all the candidates very well… going to church with John Gain…and a friend to John Murphy and the Murphy family.

“As it goes to show, one vote can truly make a difference,” he added.”

It also goes to show that vote counting goes on well past Election Day and always has.

Please make sure your vote gets counted this year. Vote in person or hand-deliver your absentee ballot.

For more information, go to www.ny.gov/early-voting-and-absentee-voting-mail-or-dropbox.


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