Get ready to vote, New Yorkers: The midterm elections are just around the corner, with voters heading to the polls on November 6. But, crucially, the deadline to register to vote is coming up even sooner: In New York, you must be registered by October ...
Get ready to vote, New Yorkers: The midterm elections are just around the corner, with voters heading to the polls on November 6. But, crucially, the deadline to register to vote is coming up even sooner: In New York, you must be registered by October 12—just a few days away.
Pretty much every major elected official in the state—from governor to senators to state assembly members—is up for re-election this year, which makes this race a particularly crucial one. After a primary election in which progressive challengers scored big wins in New York City (albeit not in the governor’s race), the outcome of the general election could prove very interesting for the rest of the state.
With all that in mind, we present this guide to the New York state general election—from when and how to vote, to the races you need to know about.
When to register to vote
ASAP! The deadline to register online in New York state is Friday, October 12. To register online, you’ll need a driver’s license or other form of state ID, your social security number, and your zip code handy. Paper registration forms are due by Wednesday, October 17, but those must be postmarked by October 12. The New York state Board of Elections website has more details on deadlines for military personnel, changes of address, and other issues related to registration.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography OfficeNew York City has experienced plenty of issues with voters finding themselves not on the voter rolls at their polling spots, so even if you think you’re registered, it’s best to double check now before it’s too late—you can do so here.
When to vote
This year’s election takes place on Tuesday, November 6. Polling spots will open at 6 a.m. in New York City, and close at 9 p.m., giving residents plenty of time to turn out. (And it never hurts to know your rights as a voter before you get to the voting booth.)
Where to vote
To find out where you’ll vote, head to the New York state Board of Elections website—this will provide you with your party affiliation, your various representative districts, and a link to find your polling site.
If for some reason you’re not listed at the correct polling site for your address—an issue that has been reported by multiple voters—you have the right to ask for an affidavit ballot. If you have an issue with accessibility, language assistance, or anything else at your polling site, call your BOE borough office.
What are the major races?
Nearly all New York’s elected officials are up for re-election this year. Some of the major races include:
Governor: Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo is running against Republican challenger Marc Molinaro.
Lieutenant Governor: Incumbent Kathy Hochul is running against Republican challenger Julie Killian.
U.S. Senate: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is up for re-election, and her challenger is Chele Farley, the finance chair of New York state’s Republican party.
House of Representatives: All 27 of New York’s seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs, and many of those members of Congress are based in New York City. (The one that’s gotten the most ink is District 14, where progressive challenger Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated the longtime incumbent, Joe Crowley, in the primary election.) Ballotpedia has a breakdown of every race, incumbent, and challenger.
Attorney General: NYC public advocate Letitia James (Democrat) and lawyer Keith Wofford (Republican) are facing off to fill the AG’s seat.
Comptroller: Incumbent Thomas DiNapoli is being challenged by Republican Jonathan Trichter.
State Senate: Every single seat in the New York state senate is up for grabs, and this could prove to be one of the more interesting races. Many of the former members of the Independent Democratic Conference were unseated in the September primary election, and it remains to be seen if those upstarts (including Zellnor Myrie and Julia Salazar in Brooklyn, and Alessandra Biaggi in the Bronx) will be able to carry that momentum through in the general election. Ballotpedia has a guide for the big races.
State Assembly: Likewise, all 150 state assembly seats are also up for grabs—Ballotpedia has a guide for that, too.
What to do with your phone while you’re voting
Put it away! As ridiculous as this particular rule may seem, it is a rule nonetheless: selfies in the ballot booth are verboten. Save the selfie for later, once you’ve gotten your cool ”I voted!” sticker and won’t run afoul of the law.
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