Beware deadline error on ballot: Manor absentee votes due at village hall Tuesday by 9 pm

Portion of Pelham Manor absentee ballot with deadline error.

Absentee ballots for the Pelham Manor election are due at village hall by 9 p.m. on Tuesday, not at a later time stated in an error in the text on some ballots.

Some ballots distributed over the last few weeks displayed the correct submission deadline on the envelope, but incorrectly stated in the bottom right hand corner of the ballot that votes would be accepted up to seven days after election day.

Village Manager and Election Commissioner John Pierpont was emailed by a reporter at 3:25 p.m. Monday for comment on what steps the village was taking and how many ballots may have the error. He had yet to respond at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

According to district leader and Pelham Manor Democratic committee member Kate Pringle, Pierpont is in the process of calling residents who requested absentee ballots to inform them of the mistake.

Pringle first noticed the error when a voter told her that he was planning on mailing his ballot on Friday, which could have resulted in his vote being received too late to be counted. That day, Pringle said she called to notify village officials of the problem. The village has since corrected the original form, but Pringle said she and her party are concerned that residents who already downloaded the ballot may miss the correct information.

The Democratic committee attempted to inform residents of the error via Facebook when it was discovered.

In light of the conflicting dates, the Democratic Party has requested that the village comply with the later date to ensure that every vote is counted.

“I remain worried that people could be disenfranchised just because they don’t understand,” said Pringle. “I want, and I think everybody wants, every vote to count.”

In previous years, absentee ballots have been accepted only through the end of election day, but with increased demand for absentee voting due to Covid-19 concerns and heightened awareness in the village regarding the election this year, some residents have expressed a desire to extend that deadline.

Republican Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey and Republican trustees Angela Michele DeLillo and Joseph Senerchia are seeking reelection to two-year terms. They face Democratic mayoral candidate Ramsey McGrory and trustee candidates Lance Koonce and Andrea Ziegelman.

As of the time of publication, the village website said, “The absentee ballot itself must be received at Pelham Manor Village Hall, 4 Penfield Place, Pelham Manor, New York, 10803 no later than the close of polls on election day, March 16, 2021.”