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March 19, 2020
Contact: Jake Oliver, [email protected], (347) 361-9983

Good Government group urges to move presidential primary to June and allow absentee voting for all New Yorkers, effectively implementing an all-mail ballot elections

To view memorandum from Citizens Union’s Board of Directors outlining the group’s recommendations, click here

New York, N.Y. (March 19, 2020)— Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum, urging the New York State Legislature and Board of Elections to take measures to ensure the 2020 elections in New York State run smoothly, while protecting public health and reducing community transmission of COVID-19:

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that the New York State Legislature and Board of Elections take strong, decisive action to ensure that New Yorkers feel safe while exercising their right to vote. The 2020 elections must go forward, as it is particularly crucial to maintain our democratic principles during times of emergency.  To do so, we must be creative and take extraordinary measures. Failure to do so would put public health at risk and result in lower voter turnout for elections that will shape our city, state and country for generations to come.” 

“We recommend that presidential primary scheduled for April 28th be consolidated with the state and federal primaries scheduled for June 23rd, and that the election law be amended so that all registered voters who want to vote by mail can do so using an absentee ballot while the risk of contracting the coronavirus exists. The Governor issued an executive order allowing this to happen in the Queens Borough President election, but every New Yorker who wants an absentee ballot for any election in 2020 should be able to get one. It is also necessary to implement immediate programs to facilitate absentee voting, allow for online voter registration, and consider a range of other possibilities to facilitate voting. Additionally, it is critical that in-person voting not be eliminated.”

“Over the past year, the legislature and Governor Cuomo have passed a number of important reforms to protect and expand the right to vote. This unprecedented public health crisis warrants further action. We look forward to working with our partners in the legislature and the Board of Elections to ensure that all New Yorkers can safely vote in 2020.”


For follow up, please contact Jake Oliver at Anat Gerstein, Inc. at
[email protected] or 347-361-9983

About Citizens Union
For 120 years, Citizens Union (CU) has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include increased voter participation and civic engagement, greater police accountability, and an accurate 2020 census. Learn more at

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