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NYS Coronavirus Update: NYS Coronavirus Update: New Legislation Expands Absentee Voting -- Hospitalizations Hit a Record Low

Aug 20, 2020

As we prepare for the upcoming 2020 election, it is critical we protect the most fundamental cornerstone of our democracy—the right to vote. Today, I signed legislation that ensures every registered New Yorker has options on how to vote in November in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation signed into law today also takes steps to ensure that every vote is counted.

Starting today, all registered voters can request an absentee ballot if they are concerned about COVID. All Boards of Elections in New York State must count:
  • All ballots postmarked on or before Election Day (November 3rd) and received within seven days after Election Day.
  • All ballots without a postmark received on November 4th (the day after Election Day).

These measures are critical to a full and fair election at one of the most important moments in our nation's history. We are removing barriers to democracy and will make it easier for all New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote this November.

You can vote early in-person, you can vote on Election Day or you can vote using an absentee ballot. Whatever you do, don't miss your chance to make your voice heard.

Photo of the Day: Animal-themed markers at the Bronx Zoo remind visitors to practice social distancing
(Photo by Mark Dudko)

Here's what else you need to know tonight:

1. The total number of COVID hospitalizations is at a record low. Yesterday, there were 518 total hospitalizations. Of the 80,984 tests reported yesterday, 601, or 0.74 percent, were positive. For the 13th consecutive day, our daily positive infection rate has been below 1 percent. Sadly, we lost 5 New Yorkers to the virus.

2. A recent study highlights New York as one of the only states that exceeds the testing level considered necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus. One of our top priorities in combatting Coronavirus is maintaining our testing capacity and New York continues to lead the nation in daily testing.

3. The moratorium on commercial evictions is extended until September 20th. Today, I signed an Executive Order that builds on existing protections for commercial tenants and small businesses. This helps ensure that business owners across New York will not be forced to close as a result of the pandemic.

4. Take advantage of the beauty of New York's canals and hiking trails this summer. Through Labor Day, the NYS Canal Corporation is promoting six hubs of canals and trail activity and celebrating local canal-side businesses across Upstate NY. The program offers free "Staycation" excursions by kayak and/or bike in Schenectady, Chittenango, Seneca Falls and Rochester.

Tonight's "Deep Breath Moment"
: At Brandywine Living in Princeton, NJ, two residents have found a way to brighten the spirits of their neighbors. In a time when outside entertainment is hard to come by, Ed Beckerman, 92, and Paul Gall, 69 (with the help of their guitar tutor), have been hosting the "Hot Rock Cafe," a socially distanced occasion to bring live music to the assisted living facility.

andrew-cuomo-news-conference.jpgIf you were forwarded this email, you can subscribe to New York State's Coronavirus Updates here.
Ever Upward,
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo