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Politics

Safe Boxes Should Be Added At Town Halls In Westchester For Mail-In Voting, Supervisor Says

A secure ballot box outside town hall in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
A secure ballot box outside town hall in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Photo Credit: Town of Ridgefield (CT)

The writer, Paul Feiner, is Greenburgh's town supervisor.

Many voters complained during the June primary that they did not receive absentee ballots in a timely manner after they submitted the requests. 

And, other voters worry that the postal service may lose the absentee ballots in the mail, depriving voters of their right to vote. 

Or, that the ballots arrive after the deadline passed. 

Our postal service is not very reliable - many letters are lost, sent to the wrong address.

Inasmuch as we can't count on the Postal Service to send ballots to the right address in time and since voting by mail is important and we want to encourage maximum participation, I have a suggestion: The Board of Elections should place a secure and safe box (similar to a mailbox) at each Town, Village and City Hall. 

If voters don't trust the post office - voters could drop off their ballots at the municipal building. 

If people apply for a ballot and do not receive one before the primary each municipal building should have extra ballots that the voter can obtain and send in.

During the recent primary contest, the Board of Elections assumed the cost of the postage. The cost of my suggestion would be offset by reduced postage costs. In addition, most municipal buildings have video cameras for security purposes so these boxes would be placed at safe locations- unlikely to be tampered with.

This recommendation, if followed, will increase voter participation and help make sure that everyone who wants to vote actually does vote. 

In June, in one legislative district in Brooklyn, about 20 percent of the ballots cast by absentee ballots were thrown out. Other states that have mail-in ballots also don't count ballots that arrive too late.

Paul Feiner, Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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