Happy Saturday. Last night, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.23, his twenty forth (24th) order during this state of emergency. This Executive Order modifies or suspends certain New York statutes, laws, codes, rules and regulations as well as sets forth certain directives, all of which are designed to address matters related to the COVID-19 crisis. This Executive Order is effective from April 24, 2020 through May 24, 2020. A copy of Executive Order 202.23 accompanies this e-mail.
Cancellation of Certain Special Elections
- Under a prior Executive Order (EO 202.12), Governor Cuomo declared June 23, 2020 to be the new date for special elections to be held for the 12th Assembly District (Suffolk County), the 31st Assembly District (Queens County), the 136th Assembly District (Rochester), and the 50th State Senate District (Syracuse area). Pursuant to Executive Order 202.23, those special elections have now been cancelled and Governor Cuomo declared that those seats will be filed by the November 2020 general election. Executive Order 202.23 also cancels the special election for the office of Queens Borough President that was to be held on the same day, and similar to the state legislative offices, that office will be filled by the November 2020 general election.
Powers of State Health Commissioner
- Executive Order 202.23 also authorizes the State Health Commissioner to suspend or revoke the operating certificate of any skilled nursing facility or adult care facility if it is determined that such facility has not adhered to any regulations or directives issued by the Health Commissioner. If it is determined that such facility is not in compliance, Executive Order 202.23 also provides that notwithstanding any law to the contrary the Health Commissioner may appoint a receiver to continue the operations on 24 hours’ notice to the current operator, in order to preserve the life, health and safety of the people of the State of New York.
SUPENDED OR MODIFIED LAW
As in prior executive orders, Executive Order 202.20 also suspends or modifies certain laws, codes, rules and regulations to aid in New York’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis through May 18, 2020. In this instance, laws modified or suspended under Executive Order 202.20 focus on the manner of voting in the June 2020 primary or special elections. The Executive Order, by modifying or suspending the applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations, to the extent necessary:
Voting by Mail
- Provides that every voter that is in active and inactive status and is eligible to vote in a primary or special election to be held on June 23, 2020 shall be sent an absentee ballot application form with a postage paid return option for such application. This shall be in addition to any other means of requesting an absentee ballot available, and any voter shall continue to be able to request such a ballot via phone or internet or electronically. Any ballot which was requested or received for any previously re-scheduled election, or for the primary election to be held on June 23, 2020 shall continue to be valid and shall be counted by the Board of Elections if it shall be returned to them.
Executive Order 202.15 had modified New York Election law to allow that the potential for contraction of the COVID-19 virus could serve as a basis for a person to seek and be granted an absentee ballot. The voter, however, still had to make sure request to the Board of Elections. Now, pursuant to the directive in Executive Order 202.23, every voter eligible to vote in a June primary or special election will receive an absentee ballot form from the Board of Elections, be permitted to request a voting ballot through such form, and thus be able vote by mail in such elections.
The copy of Executive Order 202.23 that accompanies this e-mail specifically identifies the applicable laws impacted under these provisions.