2016 has been a long campaign season for all of us, but after more than our fair share of scandals, intense debates, and angry Facebook statuses, Election Day is (finally!) just around the corner. With such a tight race, it’s wholeheartedly recommended that you head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8 with as much knowledge as possible, so we’ve gathered all the questions you might have leading up to the big day.
Who’s on my ballot?
We all know who’s running for the general election, but if you didn’t realize there’s more to our government than the candidates running for Commander in Chief, check out Voters Edge New York. Simply plug in your zip code and street address, and the nonpartisan online guide will list all the races and candidates in your district. To catch you up to speed, Sen. Charles Schumer faces reelection to Congress, plus numerous other House of Representatives, state senate, and state assembly races.
How do I find my polling spot?
There are many places to locate your voting location on the web. You can look here or back on Voters Edge New York.
What time are the polls open?
According to the New York State Board of Elections, general election polls will open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m.
Can I vote by absentee ballot?
You are eligible for an absentee ballot only if you are “unavoidably” absent from your county on Election Day, are unable to get to the polls due to sickness, and a few other strict criteria. It’s a tad late to register for an absentee ballot by mail, but if you can get your ballot and application to your county board in person by November 7, you can still be eligible.
Can I volunteer?
You can volunteer on Election Day by contacting your local board of elections, or through an organization that uses volunteers outside of polling places for various tasks.
What if I encounter an issue at the polls?
There were plenty of problems during the April primaries here in New York. It’s very important to know your rights! Voters who experience problems can contact The New York Attorney General’s office hotline at 800-771-7755 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during voting hours. Check out these tips from DNAInfo on what to do if you are told you can’t vote come Tuesday.