State officials are considering pushing back the school vote deadline for ballots to be received by school districts across the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today said state officials are “looking at it” and would “have a decision on Sunday” — just two days before the existing deadline for voters to get their ballots to the school district office.

The governor issued an executive order May 1 establishing the statewide school election date as June 9. The order required all school districts to send ballots to every registered voter in the districts, with a pre-addressed postage-paid envelope for the ballot to be returned to the district.

School elections are governed by State Education Law Section 2018-A, which requires an absentee ballot to arrive by 5 p.m. on the date of the election. The Education Law provision does not have a “postmarked by” requirement, as is found in State Election Law concerning absentee ballots. The governor through his emergency powers can supersede the statute and change the deadline to be based on a postmark rather than receipt — or he can delay the deadline for the receipt of ballots by the districts.

Cuomo made the comment today in response to a reporter’s question at the governor’s press conference today, asking if the state was considering either delaying the deadline for a week or requiring them to be postmarked by Tuesday.

In response to a request for comment, Riverhead Central School District Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez said in an email from her assistant, “The district will adhere to the governor’s orders as soon as we receive clearly defined guidelines.”

The Riverhead School District has set up a secure drop box at the district office so voters can hand deliver their ballots by the deadline.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.