The Justice Department announced Thursday that the special election in New Yorks 20th district will go ahead as planned next Tuesday but that absentee ballots from military personnel stationed overseas must be counted through April 13.
The Justice Department sued the state of New York earlier this week, arguing that New Yorks timetable for the special election did not give servicemen and women living overseas enough time as required by federal law to vote in the race between state Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco (R) and businessman Scott Murphy (D).
But according to the Justice Department, federal and state officials reached an agreement that would not require the state to put off the election.
I am pleased that New Yorks officials have agreed to measures that will afford immediate relief to ensure that the states voters overseas, many of whom are members of our armed forces and their families serving our country around the world, will have a reasonable chance to vote in this special election, Loretta King, acting assistant attorney general for civil rights, said in a statement.
According to the Justice Department, there are about 1,300 people serving overseas in the military who are eligible to vote in the March 31 special election. As a practical matter, the extension of the voting period for military personnel means the outcome of the special election could be delayed if the Election Day results prove to be extremely close.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.