De Blasio considering shutting down early voting sites in area under COVID lockdown: report
De Blasio makes last-minute decision to delay in-person learning for public school students
Karol Markowitz, New York Post columnist, joins the debate.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he may close early voting locations in areas of Brooklyn and Queens that are currently under coronavirus lockdown restrictions imposed last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Post reported.
The specified zip codes are facing varying degrees of prohibitions that include bans on indoor dining, school closures, and strict caps on numbers allowed in houses of worship.
"This is something we’re going to have to sort out," de Blasio said Tuesday. "We obviously have a new situation here trying to make sure there is not a resurgence. So that’s something that we will talk through with our health officials and with the Board of Elections to figure out the best way to approach it."
Fox News asked the mayor's office if he has since been in touch with the Board of Elections, but de Blasio's office did not immediately respond.
De Blasio noted that people can still vote by mail as a “fall back,” as well as “voting on Election Day itself.”
“So there’s more than one way for people to address this, depending on what we see.”
The restrictions were required as of Friday, October 9, and are to remain in place until at least October 23. Early voting starts October 24 and ends November 1. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot online is October 27, although voters can still request one in person up until November 2.
Many of the affected areas are known for having large Orthodox Jewish populations, and some members of those communities took to the streets to protest the governor's restrictions, which came during the Jewish high holiday season. Cuomo also singled out Orthodox Jewish groups for criticism at a press conference earlier this month.
Jewish groups sued Cuomo over the restrictions, claiming that they "“make it impossible for Orthodox Jews to comply with both their religious obligations and the order.”
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Cuomo senior advisor Rich Azzopardi defended the mayor's actions, while acknowledging that the governor's office has "been sued virtually every day for every action taken" during the pandemic.
"We’re concentrating on reducing the virus in these hot spots and saving lives, period,” Azzopardi said.
Fox News' Thomas Barrabi and Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.
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