New York’s Elections: Make Your Voice Heard

Voting Booths
Across the United States, voting rights are under attack. Using the false narrative of a stolen election, state legislatures across the country are considering and, in some cases, enacting laws that are aimed at suppressing voter access and voting rights. Bold actions are needed to be a visible counter to these suppression efforts.
NYPIRG is committed to ensuring that political participation is promoted, voting rights are safeguarded, and access to voter polls – whether by mail or in person – is ensured for all eligible New Yorkers. Our efforts are centered around making New York State a national leader on voting rights, and bolstering efforts at the national level to safeguard voting rights for all Americans.
Be ready for the 2021 elections:

Important Dates:

  • Voter Registration deadlines: For the Primary, May 28th; for the General Election, October 8th
  • Absentee Ballot application deadlines: For the Primary, June 15th; for the General Election, October 26th
  • Early Voting period: For the Primary from June 12th through June 20th; for the General Election, October 23rd through October 31st
  • General Election Day: November 2, 2021

Check Your Registration Status and Find Your Poll Site

  • Check your voter registration status to verify that you are registered and make sure that your voter information is updated and accurate. If you recently registered, or updated your registration, changes may take a few weeks to appear on the website.
    If your registration status is found, you can also look up your poll site for both the early voting period and for Election Day. Your poll site for early voting may be different than your poll site on Election Day. Poll sites and hours of operation vary by county for early voting.
  • You can also contact your county Board of Elections to ensure that you are registered.

Make a Voting Plan

Once you are registered to vote, how do you want to cast your ballot? This year, New York voters can choose between these three options:

1. Voting in person during the early voting period:

  • You can avoid longer lines and skip the post office by casting your ballot during New York's early voting period. Look up your early voting poll site here.
  • Every county must have at least one early voting poll site.

2. Voting in person on Primary Day or Election Day:

  • You can go to the polls on Primary Day (Tuesday, June 22) and Election Day (Tuesday, November 2) and cast your ballot.

*Your assigned early voting poll site may not be the same location as your Election Day poll site. Look up your poll sites for early voting and for Election Day.

3. Voting by mail using an absentee ballot:

  • You can download an absentee ballot application (in English or Spanish), and get additional information and instructions, from the New York State Board of Elections absentee voting webpage.
  • Or you can apply for an absentee ballot by visiting or contacting your county Board of Elections.
  • Once your application is accepted, you will receive a hard-copy ballot through the mail.
  • You can then complete your ballot and drop it off or mail it in.
  • If mailed in, your ballot must be postmarked no later than November 2. You must add stamps to mail your ballot for this election. While weights may differ by county, advocates are suggesting at least two forever stamps to meet the weight requirements.
  • Your ballot can also be dropped off at an early voting poll site from October 23 through October 31, or at an Election Day poll site on November 2. Look up poll sites for early voting and for Election Day.
  • NEW: If you are a New York City voter, you can track your absentee ballot application.
USPS recommends that voters mail their absentee ballot about seven days ahead of the general election. All absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 22, 2021 for Primary Day and November 23, 2021 for the General Election.
You can still vote in person if you request an absentee ballot. Even if you request or cast (fill out and return) an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person. NY Election Law recognizes that plans change. The Board of Elections is required to check the poll book before canvassing any absentee ballot. If the voter comes to the poll site, on Election Day or during early voting and votes in person, the absentee ballot is set aside and not counted.

Our Impact

Over the past four decades, NYPIRG’s non-partisan voter mobilization campaign has guarded and fought to expand the rights of voters in New York through community outreach, advocacy, media work and litigation. Our work has resulted in:

  • Thousands of new voters registered every year.
  • Expansion of absentee voting, particularly during the pandemic.
  • An expansion to the state’s “Motor Voter” law, which requires all state agencies to offer a voter registration option at the point of using the agency.
  • Sample ballots available online to help familiarize voters and speed up election day lines.
  • Inclusion of email addresses on New York City voter registration forms.

NYPIRG supports voter reforms, including:

  • Establishing Online Voter Registration. New York’s requirement for ink signatures on paper voter registration forms has caused major voter disenfranchisement across New York State. The technology to accept digital registration forms exists already. It is high time to allow for online voter registration.
  • Improved Absentee Voting: We support no-excuse absentee ballot access. Additionally, as NYC has recently done, all local NY Boards of Election should allow voters to track their ballots – in the same way as mail delivery purchases are tracked now. This provides confidence in the system and allows for additional time to make alternative plans if needed.
  • Enhanced early voting participation. Since voting is a habit that must be ingrained and supported in the early years of eligibility – which coincide with typical college years – New York should cultivate this habit by supporting voting by students on campus.
  • Codifying Voter Rights for Parolees: New York allows individuals on probation from local correctional facilities to register and vote, but only allows those on parole for New York State felony convictions to register and vote after they receive a Gubernatorial pardon. Studies indicate that community ties, jobs and restoration of civil rights are associated with reduced recidivism rates. Governor Cuomo signed an Executive Order to restore voting rights to felons on parole by considering pardons for those who enter the parole system each month. Codifying voter rights for parolees into state law will protect the order from future attacks and will provide clarity to recent parolees.
  • Allowing voters to register and vote on Election Day. In the interim, New York State should shorten the registration and change of enrollment deadlines to 10 days before the election, the current minimum under the State Constitution.
  • Elimination of the patronage-controlled Boards of Elections, starting with the merit selection of permanent Board employees across the state.
  • Codifying case law with respect to students voting from a campus-area address.
  • Guidelines for better ballots. Poor ballot design can affect every voter at a poll site. Miniscule fonts, unnecessary graphics and unreadable directions result in spoiled ballots and longer wait times for all.
  • Improved poll worker performance. Voters should come first on Election Day. Unfortunately, for too many, the patronage structure of the Boards puts party loyalty first and public service second. New York can improve poll site conditions immediately by offering time off for state and city employees working the polls, and professionalizing poll worker training so that only qualified and trained staff work the polls.
So Exactly How Screwed Is Andrew Cuomo?  (Rolling Stone, August 4, 2021)
College Students Catch A Break  (WAMC, August 2, 2021)
How the redistricting process could once again change in New York  (NY1, August 2, 2021)
Blair Horner discusses New York politic on the Capitol Connection  (WAMC, July 29, 2021)
Rice Provision to Reimburse Long Island Communities Included in House Passage of PFAS Action Act  (LongIsland.com, July 28, 2021)
Letter calling on NY state to deny Norlite permit renewal application  (WNYT, July 28, 2021)
NY law has long let officials use campaign funds for defense  (The Seattle Times, July 27, 2021)
Cuomo’s harassment investigation prompts a call to change New York’s election funding regulations  (Florida News Times, July 27, 2021)
Senate Filibuster Holding Up Progress  (WAMC, July 26, 2021)
State redistricting commission gets ready to draw new maps for Congress and the legislature  (Spectrum News, June 22, 2021)
MTA service cuts still on the table even after billions in federal aid  (New York Post, July 21, 2021)
New York Redistricting Commission Set to Kick Off State's New Map-Drawing Process  (Gotham Gazette, July 20, 2021)
Amid criticism from MTA members, de Blasio pledges ‘aggressive’ Fair Fares outreach  (AM New York, July 20, 2021)
The Fight Against Antibiotic Resistance Is In Crisis  (WAMC, July 19, 2021)
MTA Hits Mute on Remote Comments as In-Person Public Committee Meetings Return  (The City, July 19, 2021)
JCOPE critics are not giving up  (WXXI News, July 15, 2021)
Critics of NY's public ethics commission won't give up on reform   (Rochester City Newspaper, July 16, 2021)
Critics of state ethics commission not giving up  (WRVO, July 16, 2021)
JCOPE Critics Not Giving Up  (WAMC, July 16, 2021)
Open Meetings Law concerns stall ethics hearing  (Livingston Country News, July 15, 2021)
News Archive
Release: Leading Climate & Social Justice Organizations Rally Around Make Polluters Pay Plan
Letter: Leading Climate & Social Justice Organizations Rally Around Make Polluters Pay Plan
NYPIRG Calls for Creation of Public Dashboard to Measure Progress Toward New York’s Climate Goals
Letter to DEC: NYPIRG Calls for Clear and Accessible Public Reporting on Climate Progress
Tale of the Tape: NYPIRG’s 2021 Legislative Review
Environmental groups call for a moratorium on the operation of cryptocurrency mining centers
NYPIRG Statement on Passage of Legislation to Ensure All New Yorkers Have Testing for Dangerous Unregulated Contaminants
On Eve Of 50th Anniversary Of NY's Approval Of The 26th Amendment, NYPIRG and120+ College Groups Urge Lawmakers To Approve Legislation Placing Polling Places On Colleges
Council Members, Climate Activists New York City Council to Enact Gas Free NYC Bill to Reduce Air Pollution and Create Green Jobs
NYPIRG Reacts to Closure of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
NYPIRG reacts to Census reapportionment numbers - NY will lose one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
NYPIRG and other watchdog organizations call for hearings into scandals and failures of ethics oversight
2021 State Budget Reaction
Civic Groups urge the New York City Board of Elections to reinstate its public comment period
NYPIRG and New York's leading civic organizations call for an overhaul in ethics enforcement. The coalition urges that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) be replaced and a new independent ethics watchdog be created.
Statement on New Information Regarding PFAs Incineration at Norlite Plant in Cohoes
NYPIRG Reacts to Final Count in Congressional District 22 Race – Stunning Failures in Elections Administration Must be Investigated and Reforms Advanced to Restore Voter Confidence
Statement on Climate Action Council Energy Efficiency and Housing Advisory Panel Recommendations
NYPIRG Reacts To Governor Cuomo's Budget Proposal
NYPIRG Reacts to Governor's 4th 2021 State of the State Address on NYS Infrastructure Needs
Reports & Features Archive