It’s not you; it’s them.
Thousands of absentee voters who did everything right this primary still had their ballots invalidated.
The reason? Post offices don’t always date stamp pre-paid mail.
So ballots received by the Board of Elections after the June 23 postmark deadline and before the June 30 arrival deadline may not bear proof that they were mailed on time.
Government watchdog Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, called it "a really unfortunate conjunction of a lot of unintended consequences."
"Definitely, we want to see postage-paid reply envelopes for absentee ballots," she added. "I think in setting that up, the governor really had no insight into the current procedures of the post office.”
The postmark snafu is one of several during the city’s pandemic election. But there are efforts to remedy it through litigation and legislation.
Assembly candidate Emily Gallagher and congressional candidate Suraj Patel have sued the state to count the un-postmarked ballots.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Postal Service says its policy is to date-stamp all ballots, regardless of postage-payment method.
Representatives say they’ll continue working with New York officials toward a successful general election.
Additionally, State Sen. Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn has introduced a bill to rely on Board of Elections time stamps, not just post office postmarks.
“These are ballots that were sent on time, but because they don’t have the time signifier of the postmark, they still have the time signifier of a Board of Elections receipt stamp," he said.
Brooklyn Democratic Party chair Rodnesye Bichotte says 4 percent of un-postmarked ballots were tossed in the borough, which amounts to 4,500 votes.
The issue could be with one Brooklyn post office.
Bichotte points to an underfunded postal system.
“You had a limited number of workers. You have hours that are being slashed. You had resources that are not available," she said.
She, Lerner and Myrie say more reform must pass before the general election.
“We are under really, really dire circumstances because this federal administration is going to do everything it can to discredit the process," Myrie said.
The exact figure of absentee ballots preliminarily rejected citywide for whatever offense won’t be made official until Tuesday.
That’s when the city Board of Elections will certify the results of the primaries.
It comes six weeks after Election Day.