In a year that has been challenging for many reasons, one pressing concern as a momentous Election Day approaches is the ability to vote without putting yourself at risk of contracting COVID-19. Thankfully, New York City offers a few voting options to allow you to choose what you are most comfortable with and ensure that you have input in important national, state, and local elections.
Options for Voting in New York City
In New York, you have three primary options for submitting your ballot, including:
- Absentee Voting: Perhaps the safest option from a health standpoint, New York allows residents to apply for absentee voting and submit their ballots by mail. In most years, absentee voting is available to people who will be absent from their county or city of residence on Election Day, who have an illness or disability or serve as a primary caregiver for someone with an illness or disability, who are patients at a Veteran’s Administration hospital, or who are in jail for an offense other than a felony. However, in 2020, Governor Cuomo has extended the option to vote absentee to anyone who wishes to avoid the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. If you wish to vote absentee, you must apply by mail or online by October 27, or in-person by November 2. For your votes to count, your ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and received within seven days after the election.
- Early Voting: The State of New York allows voters to submit their ballots in-person at dozens of polling locations during a period of 10 days before Election Day. You need no specific reason to vote early, and you may be able to vote more safely during the early voting period since you can avoid Election Day crowds.
- In-person Voting on Election Day: If you prefer, you can still choose to vote in-person on November 3 at your local polling location. These locations should have safety measures in place to promote sanitation and social distancing, and as with any public place, you should wear a mask and maintain 6 feet of distance from other people so as to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.
In 2020, planning your voting process ahead is more important than ever. Whether you wish to vote by mail, during the early voting period, or on Election Day, you should make sure you are registered to vote as soon as possible and that you are prepared to submit your ballot on time.
Contact a New York City Lawyer Today
At JOEY JACKSON LAW, PLLC, we know how much elections can impact not only legislative and judicial processes in civil and criminal cases but also the daily lives and well-being of New York’s citizens. We can advise you on your voting rights, answer your questions, and do what we can to help you ensure your ability to vote in 2020. Contact our qualified and dedicated Manhattan attorney today at 833-563-9522.