Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed a bill Thursday, expanding absentee voting in New York to any state resident who wishes to vote by mail if they are concerned about the coronavirus.
#BREAKING: I just signed legislation to guarantee that New Yorkers can vote safely & that EVERY vote counts.
All voters can now request an absentee ballot if they are concerned about COVID.
Voters can request absentee ballots starting TODAY.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 20, 2020
“I just signed legislation to guarantee that New Yorkers can vote safely & that EVERY vote counts,” Cuomo tweeted. “All voters can now request an absentee ballot if they are concerned about COVID.”
New York law previously limited absentee voting to people who would not be present in their county on Election Day or people who have a physical disability, illness, or is a caretaker for someone.
The bill Cuomo signed broadened the definition of illness to mean someone concerned about catching or spreading the coronavirus, WROC reported.
Cuomo previously allowed all New York residents to vote-by-mail in the June 23 primary election.
President Donald Trump has spoken out against vote-by-mail, claiming it leads to fraud. His 2020 re-election campaign recently sued the state of New Jersey for letting residents decide whether they want to vote by mail or vote in person.
Democrats claim vote-by-mail for the November election is necessary to protect people from the coronavirus. But Breitbart News reported recent data had not shown a compelling public health justification for vote-by-mail.
Wisconsin is one of the only U.S. states that held its primary election with in-person voting after the nation’s coronavirus lockdowns began.
Only a few dozen people at maximum were confirmed to have contracted the virus after participating either as voters or poll workers, and none of those cases were fatal. Out of the 413,000 participants, that equals an infection rate below two-hundredths of one percent.
Just days later, South Korea held national elections, which did not result in any new coronavirus cases.