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Elections in New York: What you need to know before voting

'23.10.2023'

Alina Prikhodko

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New York City voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 7 to elect City Council members, district attorneys for Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, borough leaders and more. Although in some cases this is a choice without a choice, because in a number of these races candidates who have no opponents will participate, writes New York 1.

Early voting begins on Saturday, October 28th and runs through Sunday, November 5th. Anyone eligible to vote can vote early. The time and place of voting can be found on the website New York City Board of Elections.

How to find your polling station

If you are a registered voter in New York City, you can enter your address online vote.nycto find your precinct for early voting and Election Day voting. In most cases, early voting and Election Day voting sites are located in different locations. The New York City Board of Elections recommends double-checking your polling place.

Am I eligible to vote in the November 7 general election?

If you registered to vote by October 28, you are eligible to vote in the general election.

What's included in the newsletter

The at-large contest is for 51 city council seats. For the first time in 20 years, all city council seats will be up for a vote. Moreover, in these elections will elect new district attorneys of Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island, county leaders, civil court judges, judicial convention delegates, and members of state and county committees.

On the subject: New Yorkers are offered to work in elections: you can get $350 for 16 hours

However, some candidates have no competition. Fourteen City Council races, two district attorney races, and 18 of the 22 judge races citywide have unopposed candidates. A sample newsletter can be seen by entering your address on the website findmypollsite.vote.nyc.

What do you need to vote

If you are registered to vote and show identification when registering, New York State law does not require you to show identification or any other identification when voting. If you did not provide identification when registering, you can still vote at the polling place using the ballot issued after the oath of office.

Can I register to vote online?

Yes, New Yorkers who don't have an ID can vote online. You can register to vote online at e-register.vote.nyc. The online application allows residents to register to vote for the first time, change the name or address on their account, become a member of a political party, and/or change party membership.

If you have a valid New York State driver's license, you can use electronic application for voter registration through the New York State DMV. Residents who do not live in New York City will be directed to the State Board of Elections website.

To register, you must be 18 years old by the end of this year, not in jail for a felony, not claiming the right to vote elsewhere, and not have been declared “incompetent” by a court.

Can I take time off from work to vote?

Under New York State law, voters with certain work schedules that do not coincide with polling place hours must receive two hours of paid time off if they do not have “sufficient time to vote.” The State Board of Elections defines “adequate time to vote” as four hours before or after your work shift.

As an example, the state cites a situation where an employee who works 9 a.m. to 17 p.m., whose polling place is open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., is not entitled to mandatory paid time off because he has four hours after his shift to vote. However, if the shift in this case lasted from 9.00 to 18.00, the employer would be required to provide paid time off, since the employee would only have three hours before and after the shift.

Workers are required to give their employer two business days' notice if they need to take paid time off to vote. An employer cannot require an employee to use his or her personal time or other earned time off to vote.

If an employer refuses or fails to provide an employee with paid time off in circumstances where it was needed, the State recommends contacting a private attorney or the following agencies:

For questions regarding salary payments:

  • New York State Department of Labor, Division of Labor Standards (Bldg. 12, Rm. 185C, State Office Campus, tel. 888-4-NYSDOL (469-7365))
  • New York State Attorney General's Bureau of Labor Affairs (28 Liberty Street, tel. (212) 416-8700)

Regarding compliance with election legislation:

  • Contact your county elections office
  • New York State Board of Elections (40 North Peal St, Suite 5, tel. (518) 474-6220)

How to apply for an absentee ballot

You may submit your application in person at your local county board of elections office or designate another person to deliver the application in person. Use the following applications to receive an absentee ballot for English и spanish languages.

Applications must be submitted by mail, email or fax by October 23 to the county elections office. Personal applications can be submitted the day before Election Day, Monday, November 6th.

Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, is the last day to mail or hand-deliver an absentee ballot to your designated representative. If your ballot is mailed, it must be received by Tuesday, November 7th.

Who is eligible to receive an absentee ballot?

According to the State Board of Elections, the following groups of registered voters are eligible to receive an absentee ballot:

  • Those who are absent on Election Day from their district or the five boroughs (if you're a New Yorker).
  • Inability to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness does not include inability to appear due to the risk of contracting or spreading an infectious disease such as COVID-19).
  • Inability to vote because you are the primary caregiver of one or more sick or disabled people.
  • Resident or patient of a Veterans Administration hospital.
  • Are in jail awaiting a jury decision or in custody after being convicted of a non-felony crime.

Oct. 28 is the last day that unregistered voters eligible to receive an absentee ballot can apply.

How to vote with an absentee ballot

Fill out your absentee ballot like you would any other ballot, following the included instructions. Be sure to sign and date the security envelope before sending your ballot.

Absentee ballots can be mailed or dropped off at a polling place or local board of elections before or on Election Day. When mailing a newsletter need to send by November 7 and delivered by November 14 (for military voter ballots, the mailing deadline has been extended to November 20). The Electoral Commission recommends using two brandsto ensure a sufficient number of postal items.

What should I do if I asked for an absentee ballot, but decided to vote at the polling station?

You can do this, but instead of being able to use a voting machine, you will be given an affidavit of ballot so that the election commission can first determine whether you are eligible to vote. New York State adopted the rule in 2021 after a chaotic counting of ballots in the 2020 upstate congressional election resulted in months of results being tabulated.

What happens if my documents are refused on Election Day?

There are several reasons why you might show up at your polling station and be told that you cannot vote.

First, check that you have selected the correct polling station. To do this, go to the website vote.nyc. If you show up and are still not allowed in, you may not have registered in time or, if you have recently moved, may not have changed your registration to your current address.

Ask poll workers to see if you are registered to vote in another area. If poll workers are not helpful, contact your local elections office or go there yourself, information about them can be found here.

It is also possible that you were declared an inactive voter by the electoral board in error, or because you did not vote in two consecutive federal elections within five years.

If you are still being told that you are not on the voter rolls, you can ask an election official for an affidavit of ballot. By completing this ballot, you can confirm that you are eligible to vote and participate in the election. The city board of elections will then check to see if you are eligible to vote. If yes, then your vote will be counted.

If not, you will be contacted and informed that you are ineligible to vote and provided with documentation to register for future elections.

Who can I call if poll workers or others are preventing me from voting?
If you encounter problems at the polls that cannot be resolved through calm and clear communication with poll workers in the field, you have several options.

Government agencies that can help you exercise your right to vote:

New York Elections Hotline: 1-800-771-7755

US Department of Justice Voting Law Hotline: 1-800-253-3931.

The coalition of civil rights groups has also set up a number of multilingual hotlines that can help at every step of the voting process:

The New York Civil Liberties Union also has a voting hotline that can be reached by calling (212) 607-3300

Does my vote matter?

Yes, voter turnout in New York is notoriously low, which gives extra weight to the votes of those New Yorkers who do show up to the polls.

When you fill out your ballot, you will be able to choose from candidates for City Council, borough leaders, civil court judge, and state and county committee members. If you live in Queens or the Bronx, you will also be in the primary for district attorney in your area.

If you're voting for the first time or are unsure of the voting process, voting in person may be easier because poll workers will be available to answer any questions you may have.

Is it possible to find out the waiting time at a polling station via the Internet?

No, the city and state do not currently provide an option to check polling place wait times online.

Can I bring my dog ​​to the polling station?

Dogs are not eligible to vote, and their owners are generally discouraged from bringing them—or any other animal—to the polls unless they are emotional support dogs or helpers for the disabled.

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