What are your Early Voting Rights?
- Early Voting DAYS
All NYS counties are now required to provide each registered voter with nine additional days to cast a ballot in person prior to Election Day. The Early Voting period begins on the second Saturday prior to Election Day and ends on the Sunday prior to Election Day Tuesday (inclusive). Find My Early Voting Options
- Early Voting HOURS OF OPERATION
The law requires counties to provide a minimum of eight operating hours per day on weekdays between the timeframe of 7:00 am and 8:00 pm, with at least one site for all voters remaining open until 8:00 pm on at least two weekdays, during each week of the early voting period.
The law requires counties to provide a minimum of five operating hours per day on all weekend days or holidays between the timeframe of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.
Counties may choose to provide additional early voting hours.
- Early Voting LOCATIONS
Each NYS county must provide at least one early voting site for every full increment of 50,000 registered voters, with a maximum requirement of seven sites for more populous counties and a minimum requirement of one site for less populous counties. Counties may choose to provide additional sites. Click here for current NYS voter registration data by county.
Greater access permitted; lesser access prohibited: The early voting law permits localities to provide more Early Voting locations or operating hours than those required, but they may not provide less locations or hours. These are minimum safeguards designed to ensure a basic level of access to all eligible New Yorkers, while providing flexibility to local officials to tailor a program that best meets the needs of residents.
- Key County DEADLINES
- May 1st. For the general election, counties must designate early voting sites and hours by May 1st each year.
- 45 days.Prior to a primary or special election, early voting sites and hours must be designated at least 45 days out.
- Advocate's Toolkit. LetNYvote has prepared this NYS Early Voting implementation guide.
- Eligible voters who are "on line or in the polling place" at the time an early voting site officially closes shall be permitted to vote. EL § 8-104(5).
- Early Voting locations must ensure equitable access for county residents, given population density, travel time, local transportation patterns, and other relevant factors. Siting must also comply with the accessibility safeguards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Voting Rights Act (VRA).
- Counties shall allocate staff/resources to ensure wait times do not exceed 30 min.
- If an eligible voter turns out to vote and has not already voted during the early voting period, but Board of Elections records indicate otherwise, such voter has a right to cast an affidavit (provisional) ballot, or obtain a court order allowing such voter to cast a regular ballot through the ballot scanner.
- The right to a secret ballot must be maintained, on par with Election Day procedures.
Resource Conservation. For primary or special elections only, a county board of elections may reduce the number of early voting sites required if the board of elections determines a lesser number of sites is sufficient to meet the needs of early voters.
Administrative Hardship Safeguard. Generally, registered voters may vote at ANY early voting location in the county in which they reside. However, in limited circumstances of administrative “impracticality”, the local board of elections may decide to "assign election districts" to particular early voting sites. However, all voters must still have equal access to early voting opportunities (i.e., all minimum days and hours access safeguards listed above must still be available to all voters).
Election Integrity Safeguard. All ballots and scanners used for early voting must be secured during the full early voting period through the close of the polls on Election Day. Early voting ballots are counted and canvassed in the same manner as if cast on Election Day; they may not be tabulated prior to Election Day night, nor may unofficial results be tabulated or released sooner than Election Day night.
Multiple-Voting Is Illegal. Eligible voters may only vote once per election either during the early voting period or Election Day. It is illegal to vote more than once per election.
Voter Suppression Is Illegal. A voter’s eligibility may be challenged when early voting on the same basis as on Election Day. However, abusing the voter challenge process (by bringing bad-faith or baseless challenges) can suppress or intimidate voters and is a crime. If you are the victim of voter suppression, PLEASE document all pertinent facts and report this promptly to the NYS Attorney General's Civil Rights Bureau.
- In addition, please complete this Vote Early NY Incident Form, so our network of pro-voter advocates and voting rights attorneys can follow up. All submissions and personal identifying information will be kept confidential.