The first coronavirus cases in New York were confirmed in the early days of the petitioning process. Roger Misso, who up until last week was seeking the Democratic nomination in the 24th district, said his volunteers encountered voters who either didn’t want to sign a petition or answer the door because of the outbreak.
Misso asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reduce the number of signatures candidates would need to collect to qualify for the primary election. For congressional candidates, a minimum of 1,250 valid signatures is required to appear on the ballot.
Dana Balter, who along with Francis Conole is one of the two Democrats remaining in the race, made a similar request. Cuomo issued an executive order over the weekend to end the petitioning process at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. He also lowered the threshold to 30% of the required number of signatures. With the order, congressional candidates in New York must collect 375 valid signatures to secure a spot on the primary ballot.
Before the petitioning process ended, Balter’s campaign sent an email to supporters asking volunteers who are at a higher risk of contracting the novel coronavirus to stop collecting signatures. They were offered other opportunities to support the campaign.
Brexton Isaacs, Balter’s campaign manager, said they want their supporters and 24th district residents to take the pandemic seriously.