On November 3, we will elect a President and members of Congress. With the current far-reaching implications of systemic racism, recent attempts to rollback LGBTQ and women’s rights, and to undermine Medicaid and access to health care, along with threats to other crucial programs in health care, housing, and employment, it’s especially important to exercise your ultimate right as a U.S. citizen: the right to vote.
This general election will look very different from previous years, in large part due to COVID-19. Overall, most states are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year. In addition, Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2019 that made it possible for New Yorkers to vote early in general elections. There are now nine days of early in-person voting prior to Election Day. This change will reduce waiting times and crowds for voters on November 3.
Your choices affect all aspects of your life, including the essential programs and services that keep your community alive and healthy. You can exert your power by choosing candidates who reflect your interests. Most U.S. citizens in New York have the right to vote, and we should encourage those who can vote to participate in the election process.
Register to Vote
Confirm your voter registration: https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/
Need to register or change your address? https://www.elections.ny.gov/votingregister.html
You can also register online: https://www.ny.gov/services/register-vote
• Mail-in registrations must be postmarked by Oct. 9, and walk-in registration applications must also be received by Oct. 9.
• If honorably discharged from the U.S. military or have become a naturalized U.S. citizen after Oct. 9, 2020, you may register in person at your Local Board of Elections up until Oct. 24.
If you’re already registered, but recently made a change—like moving, changing your name, or getting released from incarceration—you must update your registration information.
How to Vote
This year you can vote three ways:
• Your absentee ballot application can be personally delivered to the Board of Elections no later than the day before the election, or must be postmarked by Oct. 27. Don’t wait until the Oct. 27 deadline to request your absentee ballot, if you think you’ll need one, apply now. If you change your mind you can still vote in person and the absentee ballot is set aside.
(Voters concerned about exposure to COVID-19 should select “temporary illness or physical disability” as the reason for requesting the absentee ballot.)
• If you can’t print the ballot you can pick one up at your local board of elections or send a letter requesting a ballot. Visit NY board of elections for details.
• The ballot itself must be postmarked by Nov. 2, or it can be personally delivered to the Board of Elections by the time polls close on Nov. 3.
• Saturday, Oct. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 1
• Check with your County Board of Elections for locations.
Vote on Election Day.
• Polls open at 6 AM and close at 9 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 3
• Find your polling place.
Not sure who to support? Get informed by reading news articles, talking to people in your community and watching the debates.
Additional food for thought: What are the candidates’ plans to drive a national agenda to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the U.S.? What resources are they willing to commit for sustained outreach and programming? Let’s make sure this issue stays at the forefront by raising its importance in our communities and on our social networks.
Please spread the word about the importance of participating in our election process: Remind people in your family, your neighbors, and in your online communities to register and exercise their right to vote!