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Voting by absentee ballot is easy and confidential

(May 28, 2020) – Absentee ballots for the Auburn Enlarged City School District’s annual school board election and budget vote have now been mailed out to all registered voters in the district.

There are two propositions on one side of the ballot, and voters can simply vote yes or no on each proposition. The other side of the ballot contains the names of the candidates running to be a school board member. Voters can vote for any three out of the four candidates by filling in the oval to the right of the candidate’s name. To vote for someone who is not on the ballot, voters can simply write in the name of a person they would like to nominate in the “Write-In” area. All ballots come with instructions on how to fill it out.

“We understand that voting by absentee ballot is new to many voters,” said Jeff Pirozzolo, Superintendent of Schools. “Some people may be uneasy about the process due to unfamiliarity, but the board of elections has measures in place to ensure votes are counted accurately and are kept confidential.”

Absentee ballots are mailed along with two different envelopes – an oath envelope and a postage-paid return envelope. Votes should be cast on the absentee ballot, and then the ballot must be inserted inside the oath envelope and sealed.

Voters need to fill out their name and residence on the front of the oath envelope, and then they need to sign and date the back of the oath envelope. In order for votes to count, the back of the oath envelope must contain a date and the voter’s signature. The oath envelope should then be inserted into the postage-paid return envelope and mailed back. Ballots must be received by 5:00 p.m. on June 16, extended from the original date of June 9.

When the school district receives return envelopes containing absentee ballots, they open up the return envelope and take the sealed oath envelope out, mark down the date it was received, and set it aside in a secure area until the day of the vote.

On the day of the vote, the oath envelopes are reviewed by election inspectors to verify the envelope is signed and dated and that the person is a qualified voter. Once verified, an election inspector will open the oath envelope and take out the ballot, place the folded ballot in one pile and the oath envelope in another to ensure confidentiality. From there, the ballots are unfolded, shuffled, and then inserted into a machine to be counted.

“Local election officials also go to great lengths in their ballot handling procedures to ensure your vote and personal information are kept private,” Pirozzolo said.

Though uncommon, if a qualified voter receives duplicate ballots, only one ballot should be returned. If both ballots are returned, election inspectors will only count the first ballot received. In the event a ballot is received from a non-qualified voter, the ballot will be discarded and the vote will not count.

Qualified voters who did not receive an absentee ballot may request one by contacting the district clerk, Shelly Major, at or (315) 255-8850. In order to be counted, all completed absentee ballots must be received in the office of the district clerk by 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 16.

For more information, please contact Pamela Skomsky, at (315) 255-8822 or

Citizen Article: Auburn school district outlines steps for maintaining absentee ballot confidentiality

Superintendent: Jeffrey Pirozzolo
Phone: 315.255.8800
Address: 78 Thornton Avenue | Auburn, NY 13021