Absentee ballots in New York would be counted as they arrive to elections officials under a bill being proposed by Democratic Senator David Carlucci.
The measure comes as more than one million absentee ballots have already been returned to elections officials this year amid a wave of ballots. New York officials made it easier to apply for and receive an absentee ballot, creating essentially an end to excuses to get one, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
More than two million ballots were requested this year. As a result, the outcome of elections for Congress and the State Legislature are far from definitive nearly a week after Election Day -- given the absentee ballots could change the final outcome.
“We have to address the fact that now with absentee voting being over 25% of the vote, we are in a new world and have to update how we count mail-in ballots," said Carlucci, who did not seek re-election after running in a Democratic primary in June for Congress. "The fact that we cannot call local races until weeks after Election Day is obscure and confusing to the public. Now we need a political interpreter to tell us who might have won and who has a chance."
Carlucci's bill would treat absentee ballots similar to early voting results. The bill is set to be introduced later this week.