Court Requires New York To Adopt New Notice and Cure Procedure

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, July 13, a federal court issued a decision expanding absentee voting notice and cure procedures in New York. The ruling originates from a lawsuit filed in February on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) alleging that New York’s election practices lead to high rejection rates of absentee ballots for reasons unrelated to a voter’s eligibility, such as ballots missing postmarks. In its order released today, the court ordered local election boards to provide a notice and opportunity to cure “absentee ballots missing postmarks that are received between two and seven days after Election Day.” This means New York election officials must give voters who fall into this category a chance to rectify any immaterial defects (such as a missing or misplaced signature) on their mail-in ballots before they are rejected. 

As the court notes in the opinion, “[i]n Brooklyn, about 4% of ballots in the primary election of June 2020 were not postmarked,” but “whether an absentee ballot has a postmark is entirely outside a voter’s control.” With this ruling, voters whose ballots were timely sent but are missing a postmark will have an opportunity to remedy any technical issue that might have otherwise resulted in their ballots being rejected.

Read the opinion here.

Learn more about the case here.