Early voting begins Saturday for the November general election, with New Yorkers once again getting nine days to cast their ballots in races for governor, statewide office, the state Assembly, state Senate, and Congress, among others. They’ll also get to decide on several ballot questions.
The general election caps a busy year for voters, who had to go to the polls at least three times due to a clunky redistricting process that broke up the primaries.
Just what can you expect during nine days of early voting? Here’s the rundown:
Early voting runs for nine days?
Yes, early voting begins Saturday and runs through Nov. 6, ending two days before Election Day. New Yorkers first took advantage of early voting in 2019 after state lawmakers passed a bill approving early voting in hopes of increasing voter turnout across the state.
How do I know where to vote?
The city Board of Elections website allows you to find your early voting site here. Because there are so few early voting sites (the city BOE has 140 sites open during early voting) compared to those open only on Election Day, your early voting site can be different from your general election poll site. Those living outside New York City can find where to vote by visiting the state BOE website here.
When do polls open during early voting?
Times for when polls open during the early voting period vary. According to the city BOE, the following dates and times are:
- Oct. 29: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Oct. 30: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Oct. 31: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Nov. 1: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Nov. 2: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Nov. 3: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Nov. 4: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Nov. 5: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Nov. 6: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
What am I supposed to bring to the poll site?
So long as you’ve already registered to vote and haven't applied to vote absentee, you can just go to the registration table that lists your Assembly district and election district. New York City residents can find that information here.
If it’s your first time voting in New York City, you must bring your state-issued ID to your assigned polling place to ensure you can vote. If you don’t have an ID handy, you can still vote via an affidavit ballot, but you can’t scan it through the machine.
What contests will be on the ballot?
There are a number of races that New Yorkers can weigh in on in this general election. They include the races for governor and lieutenant governor, state comptroller, and state attorney general, as well as for the state Assembly, the U.S. Senate, and the state Senate (though some candidates are running unopposed). While those are the races that will appear statewide, there could be other races on your ballot, depending on where you live.
New York City residents will also get to vote on three ballot questions aimed at establishing a racial equity agenda. A full list of the questions can be found here. There’s also a question posed to New Yorkers on whether they would want the state to issue bonds to cover green infrastructure projects.
Check out a sample ballot here.
How can I get up to speed on the candidates?
Gothamist has closely tracked the race for governor, where incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul is vying for a full term and to overcome a challenge by Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.
This fact-checking article outlines some of the main themes throughout the race.
If there’s another race you’re interested in, NYC Votes has a neat guide that lets you get to know the candidates.
I’m going to be slammed during early voting, and I won’t be around on Election Day. Can I still apply for an absentee ballot?
Yes, but the deadline to apply for an absentee ballot online has passed. You can still go to your local BOE office (locations can be found here) to request an absentee ballot, but only until Nov. 7, the day before the general election. The city BOE's borough offices have extended their hours so you can get a ballot. Full hours can be found here.
Her are some reason the BOE can provide an absentee ballot: You won’t be in your home county, have a permanent illness or disability, are incarcerated for a crime that’s not deemed a felony, or don’t want to go to a poll site due to fears of catching an illness (that last one is now subject to a pending court case).
Your ballot must be filled out and postmarked no later than Nov. 8. You also have the option of dropping off an absentee ballot at a secure ballot box at a BOE office, an early voting or general election poll site so long as they're open.