Usually New York’s absentee ballots need a stamp, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an order in May requiring that for the June election voters “be provided with a postage paid return envelope.” That’s a problem, the lawsuit says, because the U.S. Postal Service “does not traditionally postmark prepaid envelopes.” Despite reported USPS assurances that it would handle election mail correctly, the suit claims thousands of ballots arrived in time to be counted yet lack the necessary postmark.
Unofficial early data suggest that ballot rejection rates for the 12th District could hit 19% in Queens and Manhattan and 28% in Brooklyn. The lawsuit asks that ballots be considered valid if they arrived by June 30, postmark or no. Inevitably, though, this would create the opposite error: Counting truly invalid ballots that were mailed after Election Day.