What you need to know about voting in New York
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.12 COM | OCT. 9-OCT. 15, 2020
ballot,” regardless of whether or not
you serve in the military.
The New York City Campaign Finance
Board explains that normally,
these ballots would come as “absentee/
military.” The slash may have
been included in the June primary
ballots but do not exist this time
around, though the CFB assures voters
that this is just a design change;
they are perfectly valid for civvies.
If your ballot has any errors in
regard to your personal information,
which could be directly on the
envelope, contact the BOE by calling
1-866-VOTE-NYC or by emailing
them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voters can show up early to vote,
just find one of the many poll sites
that will be open from Oct. 24 to Nov.
A full list of early voting sites in
the five boroughs are listed on the
New York City BOE page and you
can also search for your early voting
Polling site safety
The Board of Elections will continue
to take great precautions at
each polling site, both for early voting
and on Election Day, to protect
in-person voters and ballot workers
from contracting COVID-19.
All in-person voters will be required
to wear masks and practice
social distancing when they show up
at their polling places. All staff on
duty must also abide by these rules.
Hand sanitizer will be available at
each polling location, and voting
booths will be socially distanced and
Security of mail-in voting
Despite what some might have you
believe, mail-in voting is safe and secure.
Other states have been voting by
mail for years, and there have been no
reports of widespread fraud of any sort.
The president, himself, requested a
mail-in ballot for this election.
If you requested an absentee ballot
by mail, your options are to return the
completed ballot by mail, or drop them
off at the local Board of Elections office,
your local early voting location during
the early voting period, or at your local
polling place on Election Day. No one
can vote more than once, as no one can
receive more than one ballot.
The Board of Elections is tracking
each ballot sent by mail. You can check
the status of your ballot online at their
Board of Elections offi ces
If you receive a mail-in absentee ballot
and you wish to drop the completed
ballot off before early voting or election
day, as noted, you can bring them
to your local Board of Elections office
weekdays during business hours. Here
are the locations:
Bronx — 1780 Grand Concourse, 5th
Brooklyn — 345 Adams St., 4th
Manhattan — 200 Varick St., 10th
Queens — 118-35 Queens Blvd., Forest
Staten Island — 1 Edgewater Plaza,
4th Floor. 718-876-0079.
With reporting by Robert Pozarycki.
BY MARK HALLUM
In case you haven’t heard, a global
pandemic has forced democracy to
adapt in a number of ways and your
best bet of having your voice heard in
the Nov. 3 presidential election may
come with a number of obstacles.
For New York, as in other places,
this has come in form of absentee ballots
being made available to anyone
who requests to cast their vote by
mail in order to avoid other humans
who may be carrying COVID-19 and
has come with a variety of dysfunctions
as seen in the June 23 primaries
. So consider this article an explainer
of how to cast your vote in a
way that guarantees it will count.
Dates to remember
If you are not registered to vote,
you will need to do so by Oct. 9. If
you are registered to vote and wish
to submit a mail-in ballot, you must
file a request by Oct. 27.
Once you receive a ballot, you’re
encouraged to fill it out right away
and then mail it back right away, or
drop it off at Board of Elections offices
citywide before Oct. 24.
Recent cutbacks at the U.S. Postal
Service, however, have caused delays
in mailing, so keep this in mind if
you’re opting for a mail-in ballot. The
Board of Elections will accept any
mail-in ballot postmarked by Nov. 3.
Early voting begins on Oct. 24 and
runs through Nov. 1. During this period,
those who opted for mail-in ballots
can drop them off at their nearest
early voting site. Anyone who opted
not to mail-in their vote can visit
their designated early voting site and
cast their vote in person.
Nov. 3, of course, is Election Day,
and polling places will be open citywide.
If you haven’t voted by mail or
voted early, you can vote in person at
your designated polling place. If you
received a mail-in ballot and haven’t
yet returned it, you can also bring it
to your local polling place and submit
COVID-19 made the need for absentee
voting critical in that it reduced
crowding at polling locations
and prior to the pandemic, a New
Yorker had to meet certain criteria
qualify for a mail-in ballot such as
being absent from the five boroughs
or the state on election day.
Governor Andrew Cuomo opened
the floodgates to mail-in voting in
April when he signed an executive
order making it available to all for
the June 23 primary. That order was
eventually extended through the
Nov. 3 election.
The deadline to apply for an absentee
ballot online is Oct. 27 and official
last day to have your envelope
postmarked is on Nov. 3. Another
surefire way of being counted is by
dropping off your ballot at a polling
site or your county BOE office.
One thing to remember is that
your absentee ballot could come with
the words “Official absentee military