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Tune into WAER this election season for comprehensive coverage of local and statewide races. It's the information you'll need to make educated decisions on the races that could have an impact on your life.

Onondaga County Board of Elections: Request Ballots Now, Return Them ASAP

Scott Willis


Election season is around the corner and it’s anticipated that many voters in the state will be requesting absentee ballots due to concern over COVID-19.  Here in Onondaga County, the Board of Elections is actively accepting applications and they can be submitted online or via US Mail. 


Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says a reduction in Postal Service sorting equipment shouldn’t technically interfere with completed ballots arriving on time to be counted.

“Ballot mail is supposed to be treated differently by law. If we put our postmark on it, it’s official ballot mail. It’s not supposed to be delayed. However, if the overall system is seeing a delay, there’s no reason to see that ballot mail won’t be affected by this. I will be advising all voters to mail in your application as soon as possible and the day you get your ballot mail, it back.” 

If voters want to confirm that their completed ballots were received, the County Board of Elections is working to add an online tool to check the status.

“We're going to try to have an absentee ballot tracker at our board so people can log in and see that we received their ballot, so we can have a little bit more assurity, and if we did receive it then they can go and vote early or on election day.” 

Absentee ballots without a postmark can be accepted up to two days after the election at the Board’s discretion.  As we’ve become a more mobile society and people are relocating often, Czarny also suggests checking on your voter status to make sure it hasn’t lapsed.  More details can be found at 


John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.