STATEMENT REGARDING THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE AND TRUSTEE ELECTION
As you may know, the Clarkstown Central School District, like all other NYS public school districts, was scheduled to conduct a vote on May 19, 2020 regarding the District's 2020-2021 budget and candidates for the Board of Education. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor of NY has declared that all school district elections must be held remotely on June 9, 2020, by absentee ballot only. As such, there will not be a vote on May 19, 2020 and the Clarkstown Central School District will instead conduct its Annual Meeting, Budget Vote, and Election, remotely, on June 9, 2020.
There will be no in-person voting for this budget vote and election. Rather, the District will be sending absentee ballots (together with a prepaid return envelope) to all qualified voters in the District. If you would like to vote you will need to complete and return the absentee ballot to the District Clerk’s office at 62 Old Middletown Road, New City, NY 10956. The ballot must be received by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2020 in order for your vote to be counted. Please note that District residents must be registered in order to cast a vote. Additional information regarding how you can register to vote, instructions for completing and returning the absentee ballot, details regarding the proposed budget, and other information pertaining to this year's budget vote and election is posted on the District’s website at www.ccsd.edu, and will continue to be updated as it becomes available. Residents may also email the District Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have any additional questions.
Clarkstown Central School District’s Process Related to the Collection and Canvassing of Absentee Ballots
The District will employ the following process to preserve each voter’s anonymity and ensure that the absentee ballots are canvassed in accordance with applicable law.
- Upon receipt of an absentee ballot, the District will remove the oath envelope from the postage paid return envelope. All oath envelopes will remain sealed and will be kept in a secure location until the canvassing of the absentee ballots. In addition, the District will maintain a running tally of the approximate number of absentee ballots that are received each day leading up to the budget vote and election.
- In accordance with Executive Order 202.26 and Education Law § 2018-a(8), all absentee ballots must be received by the office of the District Clerk by 5:00 pm on June 9, 2020. At 5:00 pm on June 9, 2020, the chairman of the election shall declare the polls closed and commence the canvassing process. The canvassing process will be livestreamed on https://www.ccsd.edu/boestream.
- The inspectors of the election shall examine the sealed oath envelopes and determine if there is cause to reject any of the ballots. For example, an oath envelope that is not signed must be rejected under the law. These unsigned oath envelopes will be returned unopened to the District Clerk and set aside in accordance with Education Law § 2018-a(10). Upon verification of the oath envelope, the election inspectors will initial next to the name of the voter contained in the register. See Education Law § 2018-a(10).
- Once the verification process is complete, the election inspectors will withdraw the folded absentee ballot and place it in a holding box. See Education Law § 2034(1). The absentee ballot shall remain folded and the box will be shaken once the ballots are placed in the holding box. This ensures the ballot will not be linked to the oath envelope in which it was returned and, thus, preserves the anonymity of each individual voter.
- The absentee ballots will then be removed from the holding box and unfolded. The election inspectors will canvass the ballots by scanning them through Rockland County Board of Election machines.
- In canvassing the ballots, the election inspectors shall determine whether any absentee ballots shall be declared void or blank in accordance with Education Law § 2034. If a ballot is declared void or blank, it will be placed in a sealed envelope that is endorsed by the election inspector. See Education Law § 2034(5).
- The election inspectors will announce to the chairman the results of the canvassing of the absentee ballots. See Education Law § 2034(5). After all of the ballots have been canvassed and the results have been announced to the chairman, all absentee ballots, as well as the sealed envelopes containing voided or blank ballots, will be placed in a ballot box (or boxes). The ballot box (or boxes) will then be sealed and shall not be reopened unless permitted pursuant to Education Law § 2034(6).
- The chairman of the election shall then declare the results of the budget vote and election and the declaration shall be recorded by the District Clerk. See Education Law §§ 2034(7)(a) and (8).
- Subsequent to the declaration of the results, the District’s Board of Education will convene to accept the results of the budget vote and election. See Education Law § 2034(7)(b).