Early voting begins in New York on Saturday. Voters will cast their ballots for statewide offices like governor, along with state legislative contests, congressional races and ballot questions. And a decision on Friday in a lawsuit over absentee ballots has thrown some new confusion into the process.

Brigid Bergin, WNYC's senior politics reporter and host of Sunday's call-in show "The People's Guide to Power" unpacked what you need to know on Monday’s Morning Edition. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

Michael Hill: Let's start with the absentee ballot lawsuit. What was that decision that came out Friday?

Brigid Bergin: So the lawsuit was over laws governing how absentee ballots are reviewed once they're returned and prepared for counting; the so-called canvas process. It was also about the absentee ballot applications and the ability to use this temporary illness excuse used by people in connection to COVID-19, and also some of these pre-filled absentee ballot applications that were sent out. So the judge ruled — and I should note this is a Republican judge in Saratoga County — that the canvass process itself was unconstitutional.

And the judge could not rule on that temporary illness part of it — the COVID excuse because that's already tied up in another court challenge.

(Editor's note: State Attorney General Letitia James appealed that decision Monday morning.)

I gotta admit this sounds confusing. What does it mean for voters?

This part I wanna be really clear about, Michael: nothing has changed for voters. This is a really big deal for people who run elections because it could change when they can count certain ballots, but for voters, you can keep doing what you plan to do. The deadline to request an absentee ballot online or through the mail is today, October 24. If you're gonna request one online, you have to do it by today. You can still request one in person up through Monday, November 7 — the day before Election Day — and you can still use that temporary illness excuse. None of that has changed. And my colleague, Jon Campbell and I, who've been on this story, will bring you any updates if it does.

It's gonna be a busy start to the week for the New York governor's race. Governor Hochul and challenger Lee Zeldin debate Tuesday, right?

That's right. We have a final word on that. We were waiting for Congressman Lee Zeldin to commit to the hour-long debate that will be on Tuesday night on Spectrum News/NY1 starting at 7:00 p.m. And the timing's pretty good for both candidates. Some recent polling shows the race tightening up with Zeldin gaining some ground on Governor Kathy Hochul, but newspaper endorsements also started to come out, and not surprisingly, Hochul scored the Times endorsement. She also picked up the Albany Times Union this past weekend, so it's really a good moment for both of them to make their case to voters. Hochul, I think will likely characterize Zeldin as a Trump backed anti-abortion extremist who poses a threat to democracy and civil rights. That has been the theme of her attacks throughout the campaign while Zeldin will likely talk about crime and inflation and an open border leading to an influx of migrants, and really the inability of Democrats like Hochul to maintain law and order.

Back to early voting, it starts this week. What should voters know?

So if you're a voter here in New York City you need to know your early voting site. Unlike every other part of the state, voters here are assigned to one early voting site, and it's probably not the same spot you vote at on Election Day.

The city Board of Elections has an online tool you can use to find your location. It's at findmypollsite.vote.nyc. We'll also have that up on our website. You should also check the hours before you go out to vote because the sites are open at different times during different days of early voting. And keep in mind early voting runs for nine days starting on Saturday, and then ending the Sunday before Election Day.