Even though early voting has been an option in New York elections only since last year, it was rarely used. Stats show that only about 6% of voters used the option in September’s primary.
For the first time in a general presidential election, New Yorkers get to vote early. With all the worry about close contact during the coronavirus outbreak and the complications that in-person voting presents this year, being able to vote early is a viable and welcoming option for many.
In-person voting starts Saturday, October 24 through Nov 1 at 280 voting locations statewide. Be sure to check for times and locations near to you. Vote.nyc has all the information you need.
More than 22 million Americans have already cast ballots in this 2020 election through early voting, and the apparent rush to vote is leading election experts to predict a record 150 million votes cast, with turnout rates higher than in any presidential election since 1908.
Voting rights advocates hope more New Yorkers will be part of this move.
Jarret Berg, an attorney and a co-founder of the nonprofit Vote Early New York said, “If we assume this will be a high interest, high turnout election, moving as many people off Election Day to participate earlier in the program is a better outcome for everyone involved.”
“People can avoid lines entirely, they can avoid any uncertainties with the mail. So we’ve basically rebranded voting on Election Day as the last voting option instead of the first and only opportunity.”
Berg worries about confusion at voting locations in New York since about two-thirds of New York counties are offering just one voting location for the 2nd year in a row. Outside the city, counties allow voters to vote at any early voting site.
We have added a list of locations to make it easier for you to get all the information, and see the guide to voting below.
Since there has been no formal statewide campaign aimed at educating voters about early voting, the Plus1Vote campaign is organizing marches of voters to head to early voting sites in Brooklyn and Manhattan on Saturday.
State Attorney General Letitia James and Sen. Zellnor Myrie will greet early voters at the Brooklyn Museum.
New York voters can also vote before Election Day. The early voting period runs from Saturday, October 24, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.