Annual school budget vote and board election by absentee ballot

This year’s Budget Vote and Board of Education Election were held by absentee ballot only.

In an executive order issued on May 1, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that this year’s school budget vote and Board of Education election (typically held in May) was to take place on June 9, 2020, exclusively by absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. Then on Sunday, June 7, Governor Cuomo announced that the school budget and board election ballot deadline was extended to June 16, 2020. 


Important budget development dates

Residents of the Guilderland Central School District will vote on a proposed budget for the 2020-21 school year and will elect five members of the Board of Education. 

  • Monday, May 18, 2020
    The GCSD Board of Education adopts the proposed school district budget for 2020-21.  Watch the recording of the May 18 meeting.
  • Tuesday, May 26, 2020
    Annual Budget Hearing.  Watch the recording of the May 26 meeting.
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2020
    In-person absentee ballots must be received in the District’s secure dropbox no later than 5 p.m. Any ballots submitted after June 9 must be sent through the US mail and received by the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 16, 2020, to be counted.
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2020
    Absentee ballots must be sent through the US mail and received by the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 16, 2020 to be counted.
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2020
    Budget Vote and Election Results (manual counting). The date of the final results depends on the number of ballots received. Live-streamed on YouTube.

    Find more 2020-21 budget development dates and information here.


    Voting on June 16, by absentee ballot

    Governor Cuomo’s executive order established that this year’s budget vote and board election would take place exclusively by absentee ballot in June, instead of the traditional mid-May date. 

    Instead of heading to the polls, qualified voters had to check their mailbox for an absentee ballot, follow the directions to fill out their ballot and return it to the school district via US mail no later than 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. 

    Who is a qualified voter?

    Qualified voters are defined as U.S. citizens who are 18 years or older and have lived in the district for at least 30 days prior to the vote, and are registered to vote with Albany County Board of Elections or the school district. Qualified voters who are already registered to vote will automatically receive an absentee ballot.

    How do I know if I’m registered to vote?

    Not sure if you are registered to vote? Check to see if you are registered to vote here

    How do I register to vote?

    If you are not registered to vote, you may only do so with the Albany County Board of Elections by mail or remotely through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles at: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application  

    When can I expect to receive my ballot?

    An absentee ballot was mailed to all qualified voters on May 29, 2020.

    Please note that the turnaround time for submitting a ballot will, in most cases, be a short window of time.  It is important that when you receive your ballot, you fill it out and return as soon as possible. Don’t forget, for your vote to count, you must sign the provided ballot envelope and return in the postage-paid envelope.

    What if I was expecting a ballot and did not get one?

    An absentee ballot was mailed to all qualified voters on May 29, 2020. Per Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order issued on June 8, 2020, absentee ballots are not to be issued to voters beyond 5 p.m. on June 9, 2020.

    If you did not receive a ballot and have confirmed you are registered to vote, please contact Linda Livingston at Livingstonl@guilderlandschools.net. 

    Please include the following information in your email: 

    • Full name
    • Address
    • City, State, ZIP
    • Contact phone and/or email address

    I got my absentee ballot. Now what? 

    Once you receive your ballot, carefully read and follow the directions. Sign and date the envelope where indicated. If your envelope is unsigned, your vote can not be counted.

    Ballots must be received (not postmarked), via the US mail, by the district no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 16, 2020, in order to be counted.

    You can hand-deliver your ballot to the District’s dropbox up to 5 p.m. on June 9, 2020. Ballots submitted after June 9 must be via the US mail and must be received by the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 16, 2020.

    Why do I have to sign my name on the envelope?

    A voter writing their name on the envelope and signing it is required by law, for you to then mail your ballot back to the District to be counted.

    Just as voters are asked to sign a register when they vote in person, voters using absentee ballots are asked to provide a signature. This signature constitutes an affidavit — you are attesting to your identity as a voter who is qualified to cast a ballot in this election. This information is recorded on the district’s voter rolls — a list of names of all the people who cast ballots.

    Is my vote still confidential?

    Yes. While your name will be registered on the district’s voter rolls, your ballot will be separated from the envelope that bears your name, return address, or other personally identifiable information before the envelope holding your ballot is opened.

    While this process of voting via absentee ballot may be new to you as a voter, this is the same procedure for absentee ballots as in previous years, only on a larger scale. This year, all voting is being done via absentee ballot, whereas in previous years, most voters cast ballots in person.

    How do I return my ballot?

    All absentee ballots will include a prepaid return envelope so residents can mail their ballots. Completed ballots must be received by the district via the US mail no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

    • Hand-delivered ballots are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. There will be a secure dropbox at the GCSD district offices for those wishing to drop off their ballot between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays prior to June 9.
    • Mail-in ballots are due to the district no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

    For your vote to count, you must follow the directions and sign the provided ballot envelope and return in the postage-paid envelope.

    When should I send my ballot back to the school district?

    Fill out and return your ballot as soon as possible after you receive it. If your ballot does not arrive at the district by US Mail by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, it will not be counted.

    • Hand-delivered ballots are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. There will be a secure dropbox at the GCSD district offices for those wishing to drop off their ballot between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays prior to June 9.
    • Mail-in ballots are due to the district no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

    Can I drop off my ballot in person?

    Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, no one will be able to accept ballots in person. A ballot dropbox is available at the GCSD District Offices on the high school campus at the West Drive entrance.

    What you need to know:

    • Hand-delivered ballots due at the district by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Any ballots submitted after June 9 must be sent through the US mail and received by the district no later than 5 p.m. on June 16.
    • Prior to Tuesday, June 9, you can drop your ballot off between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays. On Tuesday, June 9, you can drop off your ballot between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
    • Please follow the signs to ring the bell for someone to let you enter the inside door to the location of the dropbox.
    • Entering the second set of doors into the district offices is prohibited.
    • For your vote to count, you must follow the directions and sign the provided ballot envelope and return in the postage-paid envelope.

    Is the counting of ballots open to the public?

    The annual school budget vote is an official public meeting of the district, and as such, it is open to the public. The manual counting of ballots will be live-streamed on the GHS Youtube Media page, starting at 8 a.m. on June 17, 2020.

    How can my vote be confidential if the count is open to the public?

    Since ballots are separated from personally identifiable information before they are counted, the public counting process is anonymous. No one viewing the counting of ballots will be able to match a voter’s personally identifiable information with their specific ballot.

    When will the results of the budget vote and board election become available to the public?

    The District will begin the manual counting process at 8 a.m. on June 17, 2020. The results will be available as soon as all ballots have been counted.

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