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Three Things You Need to Know About Early Voting in New York

Voting Ballot box with hand

After decades of being stuck in the voting rights stone age, New York is finally starting to get with the times. This year’s legislative session saw lawmakers make progress on a number of voting reforms, including passing the state’s first early voting law.

The law provides for nine days of voting before Election Day on Tuesday, November 5. New Yorkers should seize this expansion of democracy. We’re here to help.

Before you head to the polls, here are some things you should know.

Before you go to the polling site …

Early voting dates are Saturday, October 26 through Sunday, November 3 statewide, and every poll site must provide some weekend and evening hours.

Not all voters will receive notification of their early voting site – and for some who have, their designated early voting site may have changed since notification was sent. Before heading out to vote, every voter can and should check their designated early voting poll site(s).

Very E-xciting development …

Many early voting sites will be using electronic poll book tablets to sign voters in rather than paper poll books. These poll books should make lines move faster and cut down on the number of eligible voters who are not in the system because of clerical errors.

Once you’re at your polling site …

Voters who are “on line or in the polling place” at the time an early voting site officially closes must be allowed to complete the process and cast a vote.

If voters encounter difficulties at their early voting site, it’s always best to communicate any problem to poll workers at the voting site right away. The best way to proceed often depends on whether a voter has signed in, either on a tablet or in a paper poll book.

Voters who have signed in will generally be recorded as having voted, and should not leave without actually casting a vote; even if you’ve moved or don’t show up as registered, you can ask to cast an affidavit ballot. And voters who have not yet signed in will usually still have the option to cast a vote later, either during early voting or on Election Day.

If you experience anything irregular at your early voting poll site or your regular Election Day polling place, it’s important to report it! Each of these resources collects reports of irregularities and is also there to help while you are having difficulties at a poll site.

  • Call 1-866-Our-Vote (866-687-8686) for multilingual assistance from volunteers with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.
  • Call 1-800-771-7755 or email to reach the New York Attorney General’s voter assistance line.
  • Call the NYCLU at 212-607-3300 and ask to speak to one of our voting rights attorneys, or email 
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