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Gov. calls special election to fill Lee’s seat

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a special election will be held May 24 to fill the 26th Congressional District seat left vacant by the Feb. 9 resignation of Rep. Christopher Lee of Erie County.

The scheduling coincides with a new law that gives county boards of elections additional time prior to special elections for military ballots to be mailed overseas to allow such voters to cast their ballots.

Until now, special elections were held between 30 and 40 days from their announcement. Cuomo’s measure increases that time to between 70 and 80 days so that members of the military serving overseas have sufficient time to receive and cast their votes. The new law rectifies the discrepancy between New York state and federal laws with respect to the timing of transmitting such ballots before a special election.