Clarkstown Central School District 2020 Annual Election Q&A
1. Why is there no in-person voting this year?
Due to the public health concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor issued Executive Order 202.26, which requires all school district elections to take place remotely, by absentee ballot only. As a result, there will be no in-person voting for this year’s election.
2. Will the vote be for both the budget and candidates for the board?
Yes, the vote will encompass the 2020-2021 School District budget vote and the election of candidates to the Board of Education.
3. How will the ballot look when it comes in the mail?
There will be a large outer envelope addressed to you, which contains a letter with directions, the official ballot, an envelope with writing on both sides (the inner envelope) and a postage paid return envelope.
The official absentee ballot will have separate boxes, which describe each proposition to be voted on. Each proposition box will also have a separate oval next to the words “Yes” and “No”. There will also be a separate box that lists the names of the School Board candidates running for the Board's election, with an oval appearing below each name. In addition, there will be a box for write-in candidates, with an oval below each write-in space. Please note that there are only two (2) vacant seats available at this year's election and you may only vote for a maximum of two (2) candidates.
The absentee ballot will include instructions on how to fill it out.
4. Why is there writing on the outside of the inner envelopes?
I also did not complete an absentee ballot application. Why does the writing on the inner envelope state "that I will be unable to appear personally on the day of said school district election . . . because of the reason stated on my application"?
The inner envelopes of absentee ballots are regulated by Education Law § 2018-a. This law requires there to be certain verbiage printed on the front and back of the envelope. Because absentee ballots will be sent to every qualified voter, no absentee ballot applications are necessary for this year’s election. In addition, the Executive Order states that "the prevalence and community spread of COVID-19, and the potential contraction of the COVID-19 virus" shall constitute temporary illness. Thus, pursuant to the Executive Order, all qualified voters are deemed "unable to appear personally" at the election as provided in the envelope's affirmation.
5. How do I fill out the ballot?
Candidates will be listed in boxes adjacent to one another, and there will be a small oval in the box for each candidate. To vote for a candidate, use a pen or pencil and fill in the oval in the box of the candidate you wish to vote for. You may also write in the name of an unlisted candidate in the “WRITE-IN” row below the names of candidates. If voting for a write-in candidate, you must also fill in the oval below his or her name.
Propositions, including whether or not you wish to approve the budget and the establishment of a capital reserve fund, are listed separately from the list of candidates, and will have ovals next to the words “Yes” and “No”. Use a pen or pencil to fill in the oval next to one of the words, depending on whether you want to vote in favor of the propositions or against them.
Please do not make any other mark or writing on the ballot. In addition, do not over-vote. You should only cast a single vote for each vacancy or proposition that you wish to vote on.
6. The instructions say that I have to sign the outside of the inner envelope? Why?
You are required to sign the outside of the inner envelope that has the paragraph written on it. This affirms that you are a qualified voter, in accordance with Education Law § 2018-a(5)(b).
7. Who is a qualified voter? What if I did not receive a ballot but believe I am a qualified voter
A qualified voter is defined as a someone who is a United States citizen, at least eighteen (18) years of age, a resident within the district for at least thirty (30) days preceding the election, and who is not otherwise disqualified to vote pursuant to Election Law § 5-106.
If you did not receive a ballot but you believe you are a qualified voter, you should contact the District Clerk via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. If I'm not registered to vote, how can I do so?
You may register to vote by mail with the County Board of Elections, or by filing an online application with the Department of Motor Vehicles at https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application.
9. Will people know how I voted?
No, the election will be conducted in a manner to ensure that your vote will remain confidential.
10. When do I have to return the absentee ballot by?
Absentee ballots must be returned and delivered by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2020 to the Office of the District Clerk, 62 Old Middletown Road, New City, NY 10956.
11. How do I return the absentee ballot? Do I have to put a stamp on it?
The District will be mailing you a postage paid return envelope with the absentee ballot. You do not have to place a stamp on this envelope to return the absentee ballot.
Ballots may be physically returned or mailed. Please note that in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is strongly encouraged that you use the postage paid envelope to mail your absentee ballot to the Office of the District Clerk. In the event you feel that it is necessary to physically return your ballot, there will be a locked box placed near the entrance of the Administrative Building located at 62 Old Middletown Road, New City, New York 10956. The locked box will be available on June 3rd, June 4th, June 5th and June 8th between the hours of 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM and on June 9, 2020 between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Please DO NOT attempt to slip ballots under the door at any time.
12. If I live with another voter, can we put both ballots in the same envelope?
No. Each ballot should be placed in its separate envelope, and mailed back separately in each postage paid return envelope. Education Law § 2034(3)(a) requires a ballot to be declared void if a voter does any act extrinsic to the ballot, such as enclosing any paper or other article in the folded ballot.
13.How can I obtain more information about the School District’s proposed budget?
Information about the School District’s budget is available on the District’s website at www.ccsd.edu. In addition, the District will be holding its budget hearing on May 28, 2020 at 5:30 P.M. Residents may also obtain a copy of the budget documents by emailing a request to the District Clerk at email@example.com.
14. Who can I contact if I have additional questions?
If you have any additional questions, you may contact the District Clerk via email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.