Capital Region

Districts send out ‘urgent’ updates on budget votes as Cuomo makes last-minute rule change

Tuesday is last day to hand deliver ballots; June 16 is deadline for districts to receive mailed ballots
Ballots ready to be mailed last weekend in BHBL
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Ballots ready to be mailed last weekend in BHBL

Categories: News, Saratoga County, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

CAPITAL REGION — Voters looking to hand deliver school budget ballots directly to district drop-off locations must do so by 5 p.m. Tuesday, but voters returning ballots by mail have until June 16 for those ballots to reach the district.

School districts on Monday sent out “urgent” updates to their community about the school elections rules after Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his latest executive order, extending the “received by” deadline one week.

Districts were required to mail absentee ballots to all eligible voters within the district. Voters have a chance to approve or reject proposed budget for next school year as well as select school board members.

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Cuomo announced the rule changes Sunday, giving districts little time to adapt to the latest change and inform district residents. But he extended the deadline in response to delays in sending ballots through the mail that affected districts throughout the state.

District leaders and associations that advocate on behalf of different interests have grown increasingly frustrated with the way that state rules are changed, forcing districts to quickly adjust plans that had taken weeks to develop. In some cases, districts delayed approving budgets because they expected to find out more funding information but never did; those delays ultimately contributed to the rushed process of getting ballots to voters.

“The constant rule changes are deafening,” Shenendehowa Central School District Superintendent Oliver Robinson wrote on Twitter on Sunday in response to a separate announcement Cuomo made enabling small-scale graduation events. “I wish they would talk to education leaders and develop a comprehensive plan for all these matter. Borrow what we have done. … we are in the game, on the field, we know the nuances. This is not a bureaucratic exercise.”

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