Important update for New Yorkers as fall approaches
The unofficial start of fall is here.
Yesterday, on Labor Day, we honored the dedicated men and women in New York and across our country who make up our workforce, and we had special reason to celebrate them this year. During New York’s long and continuing fight against COVID, it was our workers, including the men and women of organized labor, who showed up every day and risked their lives to protect all of us.
As we enter a new, post-Labor Day phase of the pandemic that presents new challenges, I want to update you on a few important matters.
First is the issue of schools. I recognize that many parents and teachers are nervous, and they have good reason to be.
While we cannot eliminate the risks of COVID, we can arm parents and teachers with the facts. To that end, the State is requiring all school districts to report daily data on the COVID infection rate and new cases at every school. This information will be publicly available on a new online dashboard that will have constantly updated data for your school.
In addition, the State launched a SUNY COVID-19 Case Tracker that provides real-time, up-to-date data on COVID-19 testing and other vital information at each of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities.
With this transparently available data, parents and communities will be in a better position to make decisions and stay safe.
Second is the issue of voting. New York has taken a host of measures to make voting safer and easier during the pandemic.
For the first time in our state’s history, all registered voters can request an absentee ballot (under the “temporary illness” excuse). If you choose to vote by absentee ballot, then there are several ways you can cast your completed, signed ballot.
1. Put it in the mail ensuring it receives a postmark no later than November 3
2. Drop it off at an Early Voting poll site between October 24 and November 1
3. Drop it off at a poll site on November 3 by 9pm
4. Drop it off at your county Board of Elections Office starting September 8 through no later than November 3 by 9pm (see the list of county Boards of Elections Offices here)
In addition to absentee voting, New Yorkers can also take advantage of Early Voting. For nine days, from October 24 to November 1, registered voters can cast their vote in-person at an early polling site. Of course, New Yorkers can still vote in-person on Election Day, November 3, as well.
I want to take a moment to thank you for your cooperation and responsibility over the past few months. Together we brought the infection rate down by taking simple, effective precautions like wearing a mask and getting tested.
This new phase we are entering will test our diligence. We must continue to be careful and smart. It’s up to all of us to ensure our continued success in the weeks and months ahead.