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Genesee County announces presidential primary and early voting information and deadlines

By Press Release

Press Release:

As the Presidential Primary approaches on April 2, the Genesee County Board of Elections is providing essential information and deadlines for voters in Genesee County.

Primary Eligibility:

New York State operates as a closed Primary State. Only registered Republicans and Democrats are eligible to cast their votes in the upcoming April 2 Primary Election.

Early Voting:

Early voting will be available for eight days, from March 23 through March 30. The designated early voting site is the ARC Community Center at 38 Woodrow Rd., Batavia.

  • Saturday, March 23: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 24: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Monday, March 25: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 26: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 27: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 28: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Friday, March 29: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 30: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Please note that there will be no early voting on Easter Sunday. However, an additional hour has been allocated to the preceding eight days.

Polling Information:

All polling sites will be operational on April 2 from 6 a.m. - 9 p.m. and are fully accessible. Voters can verify their designated poll site at or contact the Genesee County Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804. 

Absentee Ballot Information: 

Absentee ballots are available upon request for those unable to vote in person. Contact the Board of Elections or utilize the NY State Portal at Important deadlines for absentee ballots are as follows:

  • March 23: Last day for the Board of Elections to receive an absentee ballot application. 
  • April 1: Last day to apply for an absentee ballot in person.
  • April 2: Last day to postmark a ballot. The Board of Elections must receive ballots by April 9. 
  • April 9: Military/Special Federal absentee ballots must be received by this date.

Registration Deadlines:

Voter registration applications must be received by the Board of Elections by March 23 to participate in the presidential primary.

In-Person Registration:

In-person registration is available at the Genesee County Board of Elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act. However, applications must be received by March 23 to be eligible for the Presidential Primary.

On Saturday, March 23, the Board of Elections will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. for registrations.

Please note that the west door (handicap accessible) will be the sole entry point into County Building 1, located at 15 Main St., Batavia.

Please contact the Genesee County Board of Elections for further inquiries or assistance. 

Genesee County Board of Elections 

  • Phone: (585) 815-7804 
  • Location: 15 Main St., Batavia, NY 14020
  • Website:

Write-ins and absentee ballots delay Election Day celebrations in Genesee County

By Joanne Beck

After what has been described as a “long hard” Election Day that began around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Board of Elections workers can’t relax just yet, Genesee County Elections Commissioner Lorie Longhany said.

“The write-ins are secured at our facility,” Longhany said today. “We haven’t decided how we’re going to count them. Do we start with the city or towns with more contested races? We have to look at the intent of the voter … the voter gets the vote.”

That’s no small order, with nearly 2,000 write-ins that require manual inspection to determine the voter’s “wishes and intent,” and to ensure there are no glitches on the ballot, Longhany said. For example, if someone wrote a candidate’s name that was already on the ballot, that voids the write-in vote, she said. 

A breakdown of write-ins puts Le Roy at the top with 700, Bethany at 167 for town clerk and four for town justice, Alexander at 141, Oakfield with 137, Stafford 117 and one for Pembroke. Due to the large amount of outstanding write-ins yet to be counted for Le Roy, plus an unknown amount of absentee ballots, town justice candidates Carol DiFrancisco and Tom Feeley declined to make any definitive statement about an outcome. 

“Until the election is officially over, all I would say is that no one should ever think that a single vote does not matter,” DiFrancisco said. “Every LeRoyan deserves to have their vote counted.”

As for those absentee ballots, not even half of the issued ballots have been returned so far, Longhany said. Those ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 and will be accepted up to next Tuesday, Nov 9. 

The City of Batavia had 512 absentee ballots issued, with 192 returned; Bergen had 65 issued and 33 returned; Bethany had 19 issued and 12 returned; Byron had 44 issued and 24 returned; Le Roy had 178 issued, 99 returned; Pembroke had 69 issued, 32 returned; and Stafford had 28 and 10, respectively.

Board of Elections staff are to begin processing the absentees on Tuesday, and won’t be done until all ballots have been received by next Tuesday. The postmark will be checked and any envelopes that have Nov. 3 or later will not be counted, Longhany said.

The easier part, though, is to feed those ballots into a machine, which then tabulates a final total for the entire county, she said. 

“It saves us time,” she said. “The machine is very accurate.”

She wasn’t certain when a final, official vote and related voter turnout would be announced, but believes it will be at least a few days beyond the final day to accept ballots. Veterans Day is Nov. 11, which may also slow down the process due to government offices being closed. 

City Councilperson-at-large candidate supports no-excuse absentee voting

By Press Release

Press release:

Council Candidate Erica O’Donnell supports the ballot measure allowing no-excuse absentee voting.

While representatives in Washington, D.C., drag their feet to so much as debate the For the People Act, which would protect voting rights nationally, I’m proud to be a resident of New York State where we are working to expand access to the ballot.

The measure will appear on the ballot this November and if successful, would remove the stipulation requiring absentee voters to be absent from their home county, ill, or physically disabled to vote by absentee ballot. In short, it would allow any registered voter to request and vote with an absentee ballot.

Any effort to make voting easier for our citizens should be considered a celebration of democracy and supported without controversy. I urge everyone to vote “yes” on the measure.

Primary Election information and absentee ballot deadlines

By Press Release

Press release:

Local Primary Election Information, Absentee Deadlines

Early Voting Poll Site, Dates and Times

Local Republican Primaries in Bethany, Byron and Stafford ONLY – There are three local Republican Primary Election contests in the towns of Bethany, Byron and Stafford. There are no countywide contests. Because New York State is a closed Primary state, only registered Republicans, living in those jurisdictions, can vote in these elections.

Registration deadline for the Primary – May 28 is the last day to postmark an application to register to vote and to register in person. Registration forms can be found on our website at many public offices, and by calling (585) 815-7804 and requesting a registration form be sent.

Mail registration forms must be received at Board of Elections by June 2 to be eligible to vote. There is a blackout period for changing Party affiliation prior to these Primary elections; therefore any change will not go into effect until after the Primary.

Absentee Voting for the Primary Election

  • June 15 is the last day to postmark, email or fax application for a Primary ballot;
  • June 21 is the last day to apply in person for a Primary ballot;
  • June 22 is the last day to postmark the ballot;
  • It must be received by the Genesee County Board of Elections no later than June 29.

There will be an accessible Ballot Marking Device set up for the disabled at the County Board of Elections, 15 Main St., Batavia, for anyone who wishes to vote absentee from our office.

Early Voting

Early Voting is available for the Republican Primary voters in the towns of Bethany, Byron and Stafford. The Early Voting location is The ARC Community Center, 38 Woodrow Road, Batavia.

Saturday, June 12        12 – 5 p.m.
Sunday, June 13          12 – 5 p.m.
Monday, June 14          9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday, June 15        12 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, June 16   12 – 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 17         9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, June 18             9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday, June 19        12 – 5 p.m.
Sunday, June 20          12 – 5 p.m.

Primary Election Day

Tuesday, June 22   --   Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

General Election 2020: Early voting schedule, absentee application deadlines, Election Day voting

By Press Release

From The Genesee County Board of Elections:

Early Voting

General Election Early Voting begins this Saturday, Oct. 24th and will run for nine days prior to the General Election. The Early Voting location is at County Building 2, 3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia.

The schedule for Early Voting is as follows:

  • Oct. 24th -- 12 to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 25th -- 12 to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 26th  -- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 27th -- 12 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 28th -- 12 to 8 p.m.
  • Oct. 29th --  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 30th --  9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Oct. 31st -- 12 to 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 1st -- 12 to 5 p.m.

Public transportation to County Building 2 is available (fees are applicable) only for the weekday voting until 3 p.m. through Dial-A-Ride by appointment with RTS by calling (585) 343-3079 one day in advance.

Absentee Application Deadlines

The last day to postmark an application for an absentee ballot is Oct. 27th and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Nov. 3rd (Election Day).

Absentee applications can be applied for over the phone until Oct. 27th by calling Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804. After the 27th, applications will have to be filled out in person at Board of Elections, 15 Main St., Batavia, up until Nov. 2nd.

Absentee ballots may be dropped off in person at Board of Elections up until close of polls on Nov. 3rd (9 p.m.) or in any polling site absentee drop box – please ask a poll worker for assistance. If mailing an absentee ballot, it must be postmarked on or before Nov. 3rd and returned no later than Nov. 10th

Election Day Voting
All poll sites will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. If you have any questions regarding your poll site please call Board of Elections at (585) 815-7804.

WNY Independent Living lauds advocacy agencies that expanded options for voters with disabilities

By Billie Owens

Press release:

As it has always supported the right of people with disabilities to be able to privately cast their votes, the Western New York Independent Living Inc. Family of Agencies (WNYIL) applauds the success of five disability rights organizations in settling a March 22, 2020 lawsuit with the New York State Board of Elections (NYSBOE) to ensure that people with disabilities have the right to an accessible absentee ballot.

Reached just last week, the agreement requires that eligible individuals must apply to their County Boards of Elections (BOEs) by Tuesday June 16th for a ballot to vote in the June 23rd Primary Election or a special election being held on June 23 to fill a vacancy in the 27th Congressional District (Counties: Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming, part of Erie, Monroe, Niagara, and Ontario).

Completed ballots would have to be emailed by June 22nd or delivered to the County BOE in person by June 23rd.

Here is the process, step-by-step:

  1. A voter who is unable to mark a paper ballot because of a disability can request an accessible absentee ballot on-line by using the request form found here (PDF). You may need to download this form to your device and open in Adobe so you can complete and send by email.
  2. Again, the voter MUST email their completed request form to their county BOE on or before June 16th. Voters can sign the request form with text input or e-signature.
  3. The county BOE will email the accessible absentee ballot to the voter as soon as possible after it receives the voter’s request form. The county BOE also mails a postage-paid return envelope and oath envelope to the voter.
  4. On the electronic ballot, the voter can mark their selections on the computer and print it out at home.
  5. The voter MUST sign the oath envelope anywhere on the envelope, then put the ballot in the oath envelope. The voter must put the oath envelope in the larger envelope provided with paid postage by the county BOE. A voter must get the ballot into the mail by June 22, or hand deliver it to the county BOE by June 23.

If you have questions about New York’s new accessible absentee ballot process, contact WNYIL’s Chief Policy Officer, Todd Vaarwerk, at (716) 836-0822, ext. 101, or email him at: As he is working outside the office, please allow some time for him to respond.

Our congratulations go out to the litigants, which include WNYIL’s sister agency, the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY); Disability Rights New York (DRNY); the American Council of the Blind—New York Inc. (ACB); Disability Rights Advocates (DRA); National Federation of the Blind of New York State Inc. (NFB), and four individual citizens.

The Western New York Independent Living Inc. Family of Agencies offer an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

GC Board of Elections: Important upcoming deadlines for voters to know

By Billie Owens

From the Genesee County Board of Elections:

Registration deadline for the Presidential Primary and Primary Election -- May 29 is the last day to postmark an application to register to vote.

With County Building One closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may also use the DMV drop box located on Court Street in the City of Batavia.

Voter registration forms can be found on our website.

Mail registration forms must be received at Board of Elections by June 3.

Registration deadline for the NY-27 Special Election – May 29 is the last day to postmark a registration form.

June 3 is the last day for the Board of Elections to receive a mail registration form.

June 13 is the last day to register in person at the Board of Elections. 

Absentee for the NY-27 Congressional Special Election, Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election – June 16 is the last day to postmark, email or fax application or letter request for a ballot.

June 22 is the last day to apply in person for a ballot.

June 22 is the last day to postmark the ballot and it must be received by Board of Elections no later than June 30.

June 23 is the last day to deliver a ballot in person to the County Board of Elections by 9 p.m.

Last day to submit a change of address to the County Board of Elections is June 3.

GC Board of Elections: Quick guide about absentee voting and voting in person June 23

By Billie Owens

From the GC Board of Elections:

As voters are receiving their absentee applications in the mail for the June 23rd Primary and Special Election, there may be some confusion.

Here is a quick guide to help voters make a decision about voting absentee and how to fill out the application or voting in person.

  • If you wish to vote absentee, fill out the form you received in the mail by checking "temporary illness or physical disability" in box 1 and checking "Primary Election only" and "Special Election only" in box 2. Fill out the rest of the application and mail it back in the self addressed, prepaid envelope. Your ballot or ballots will be mailed to you after your application has been received and processed.
  • The absentee application is only good for the June 23rd Primary and Special Election. It does not cover the General Election in November.
  • The polls will be open for early voting at County Building 2 (3837 W. Main Street Road, Batavia) with the following days and hours:

Sat. -- June 13    /   12 - 5 p.m.

Sun. -- June 14   /  12 - 5 p.m.

Mon. -- June 15   /   9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tues. -- June 16   /   12 - 8 p.m.

Wed. -- June 17   /   12 - 8 p.m.

Thurs. -- June 18  /   9 a.m. -  5 p.m.

Fri. -- June 19   /   9 a.m. -  5 p.m.

Sat. -- June 20   /   12 - 5 p.m.

Sun. -- June 21   /   12 - 5 p.m.

  • The polls will be open on June 23rd for Election Day voting. There may be some minor changes to some polling locations. The voters affected by any changes will be notified and changes will be shared on media and social media.
  • The Board of Elections is planning to provide safety procedures at all in person polling locations.

Genesee County Board of Elections

County Building One

15 Main St.

Batavia, NY 14020

(585) 815-7804

Attention voters: expect absentee ballot applications in the mail for June 23 Primary

By Billie Owens

From Genesee County Board of Elections' commissioners Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany:

In the next few days all registered voters will be receiving an absentee application in the mail from the Genesee County Board of Elections.

This allows voters to use “temporary illness” due to the COVID-19 pandemic to apply and mail in your application with a prepaid envelope.

After we receive your application, we will mail your ballot (or ballots in the case of some voters who will receive multiple ballots) out to you, so that you will be able to vote safely.

This application is good only for the June 23rd Primary Election. If you have any questions please call (585) 815-7804 or email us at:

Absentee ballot criteria expanded for June Primary and Special Election during COVID-19 pandemic

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Absentee Voting during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because of the continued safety concerns of voting during the COVID-19  pandemic, the Governor has signed an executive order to expand the narrow absentee criteria for the upcoming June 23rd Primary and Special Election to include the potential for contraction of COVID-19.

This order was also requested and supported by the bipartisan NY State Election Commissioners’ Association. This will give all Genesee County registered voters the option of requesting an absentee ballot.

To vote by absentee ballot, you need to fill out an absentee application. To get an absentee application;

  1. Call our office at (585) 815-7804 – Please leave a detailed message. Our staff is working from home half of the week for social distancing safety, so you may not be able to speak directly, but we will make sure your call is returned within two business days.
  2. Print application by going to our website. Go to the dropdown "departments" and go to "elections." Application is half way down on left side of Elections homepage. Address to mail back application is on the bottom of the instruction page.
  3. Email request to:

During these difficult times our mission right now is to keep the public, candidates and poll workers informed of any changes and to advocate for the safest election process for both the voters and our election workers.

Genesee County Board of Elections Commissioners -- Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany

GC elections commissioners support amending election law to clarify temporary illness for absentee ballots

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The New York State Elections Commissioner Association, which includes both Genesee County Commissioners, wishes to express our support for Senate Bill #S8015A, which amends election law to further define temporary illness to include the spread or potential spread of a communicable disease during a declared state of emergency.

We support this measure to clarify the temporary illness excuse for absentee ballots under section 8-400 of NYS Election law to include the COVID-19 pandemic and future similar circumstances a valid excuse for requesting an absentee ballot.

Voters should not have to choose between their potential health and their right to cast a ballot. Making this change will allow Boards of Elections the freedom to accept applications for absentee ballots and reduce Election Day population during times of pandemic scares.  

We urge the state legislature to pass this bill in this session to provide assurance to voters who want to use this option during the current health crisis. Adoption of this reform now will allow the voters to use this option during the June primaries and possibly the November General Election of 2020.

In Genesee County, Richard Siebert is the Republican Election Commissioner and Lorie Longhany is the Democratic Election Commissioner.


Genesee County Board of Elections is located in County Building One, 15 Main St., Batavia. Phone is (585) 344-2580, ext. 2207.

NYS Elections commissioners call for lawmakers to protect electoral process during COVID-19 pandemic

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The New York State Elections Commissioners’ Association is calling for immediate action by the Governor and New York State Legislature to protect our electoral process during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Election Boards throughout the state are risking personnel safety and health to prepare for impending elections on April 28, 2020. We are facing critical shortages of inspectors and polling places due to the ongoing public health crisis.

Over the next week, BOEs will find it almost impossible to meet mission critical deadlines for testing machines and preparing ballots because of staff shortages due to the ongoing stay-at-home order.

We ask Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and NYS Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to consider the following items by either Executive Order or Legislative action:

1.) Postponing the Democratic Presidential Primary scheduled for April 28th to June 23rd. Fielding inspectors in the midst of this health crisis is dangerous and may be impossible. Traditional polling places may be unusable as they are currently restricted or closed to the public. Postponing until June will not only give us time to plan, but will ease the burdens on host counties budgets that are devastated by the COVID-19 crisis.

2.) Amend 8-400 of NYS Election Law to allow for Absentee Balloting during all times of declared state of emergency due to infectious disease or pandemic. This will allow all voters who are at-risk but perhaps not yet sick to apply for and receive an absentee ballot. At risk or vulnerable citizens should not have to make decisions on whether to exercise their right to vote or risk their health.

3.) For all Primary & Special Elections: Give wide latitude to the local Board of Elections to consolidate polling places and election districts to best operate the election. While we hope the COVID 19 crisis will be better by June, it is quite likely we will have limited numbers of polling places and inspectors even then. We need this flexibility to adjust to circumstances on the ground in our jurisdictions that may be changing right up until the June 23rd Election.

Acting on these items will buy us precious time and save our host counties significant amount of resources while also preserving the rights of voters and safety and health of Election Workers. Every day that we do not act makes us less prepared and wastes valuable time and money.

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