ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– A lawsuit was filed in Saratoga County by state Republican and Conservative parties against state government leaders. They claim that a new law that allows the board of elections to count absentee ballots before Election Day is unconstitutional.
Blair Horner, Executive Director of NYPIRG, explained why this new law was put into effect.
“The concern was that when you have a flood of mail-in ballots because New Yorkers like being able to mail in their ballots, there was a lot of them that came in. So if you have to wait to open the envelope until after Election Day, which is the old practice, then that meant that New Yorkers would wait sometimes days or maybe weeks to see who actually won the election and who was the official winner,” explained Horner.
The new law was meant to speed up the process. A judge sided with the plaintiffs, saying that the new law is unconstitutional.
An appellate court issued a stay after an appeal was filed by the NY Attorney General’s Office, and Common Cause New York, and others.
The Democratic Side of the New York State board of elections released a statement saying, “There is no ambiguity as the application of this Order, Boards should comply with the stay and canvass absentee ballots according to their predetermined schedules.”
According to the Republican side of the board of elections, “A letter application has been filed requesting the stay be vacated. Awaiting the outcome of the application preserves the status quo ante.”
Voters can continue to fill out and send in their absentee ballots. The appeal of this lawsuit will be heard on November 1st, a week from Election Day.