Early voting begins on Saturday, Oct. 29 in New York and New Jersey. In the Empire State, the early voting law was passed in 2019 as part of a wave of pro-voter reforms ushered in by the then-new, Democrat-controlled state Legislature.

The goal was to help bring the state’s antiquated election laws into modern times, with lawmakers ushering in electronic poll books, automatic voter registration, and easier access to absentee ballots.

While these laws have helped secure and expand voting rights, there has also been a move to restrict voting through legal challenges. After the 2020 presidential election, there was a wave of unsuccessful lawsuits filed by election-denying Republicans across the country.

That strategy is at play once again, with more than 100 legal challenges already filed with more than a week to go before Election Day. That includes deep-blue New York, where the state Republican and Conservative parties are plaintiffs in a lawsuit that seeks to upend the absentee ballot laws.

A lower court ruling is currently on appeal, with a hearing set for next week, but there has already been fallout in parts of the state where election preparations ground to a halt over the absentee ballot dispute.

This Sunday on “The People’s Guide to Power,” WNYC’s live midterm election call-in show, we talk about the power of the law to help — or harm — your vote and our democracy.

Guests include Janai Nelson, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. She will join us to talk about the biggest cases and legal challenges her organization is monitoring ahead of this election and beyond. Plus, WNYC’s Albany reporter Jon Campbell will offer the latest on the ongoing absentee ballot challenge working its way through the courts and what it means for you when you cast your ballot.

The phones will be open starting at noon on Sunday for your calls about the power of the law to protect democracy and elections. The law gives you several options for how to cast your ballot. So how do you plan to vote: early, absentee, or on Election Day? Why did you make that choice? Would you make any changes to the options available to cast your ballot? We want to hear from you at 212-433-WNYC, that’s 212-433-9692, or tweet @WNYC.