School districts now have until June 16 to receive absentee ballots in their 2020 budget and school board elections, after an executive order issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Previously, all completed ballots were to be received by 5 p.m. Tuesday, school election day statewide, in order to be counted.

Cuomo's order, issued this past Sunday, allows ballots to returned by mail until June 16, but required any receptacles used for hand delivery of ballots to be closed and removed at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

All ballots returned to the districts must remain sealed until 5 p.m. June 16, at which time canvassing can begin.

Several local districts, including Lockport, Starpoint and Niagara Falls, had expressed about the Tuesday deadline after an envelope shortage, reported by NTS Data Service, caused a delay in the mailing of ballot packages to eligible voters.

This year's school elections are being conducted exclusively through absentee balloting. Normally conducted in mid May, they were postponed and physical polling sites were ordered closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

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