Voting is about to become easier for New Yorkers.
The state will become the 39th to allow residents to participate in “early voting,” as 248 sites open Saturday from Long Island to the Great Lakes to the Canadian border.
For a nine-day period ending Sunday, Nov. 3, residents may go to their local early voting site — it’s not necessarily the same place where you usually vote — and cast a ballot for the Nov. 5 election.
The rolout has been bumpy. Counties are in charge of designating sites and hours of operation, so there is no uniform, statewide process. Some counties have a lot more sites than others. Dozens of upstate counties have just one site.
Further, the state government didn’t immediately let flow the $10 million earmarked to help counties, slowing down efforts to plan and cover the costs.
It will be a learning curve, lawmakers have said. They know they will have to make improvements in time for the 2020 election, where turnout is expected to be heavy. They already have scheduled a Nov. 20 hearing to review New York’s first foray into early voting.
But this year will be a start, they say, for making voting more convenient.
"For too long, voters have had to jump through hoops to exercise their Constitutional right,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) said. Early voting, she said, will help “empower more New Yorkers to have their voices heard."
EARLY VOTING POLL SITES*
Elmont: Fire District Building, 100 School Rd.
Floral Park: Recreation Center, 124 Stewart St.
Garden City: Rec. Complex St. Paul's Field House, 295 Stewart Ave.
Glen Head: Saint Paul the Apostle, 2534 Cedar Swamp Rd.
Hempstead: Rec. Center/Kennedy Park, 335 Greenwich St.
Hicksville: Levittown Hall, 201 Levittown Pkwy.
Lawrence: Village Hall, 196 Central Ave.
Massapequa: Town Hall South, 977 Hicksville Rd.
North Merrick: Public Library, 1691 Meadowbrook Rd.
Plainview: Mid-Island Y JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Rd.
Rockville Centre: Recreation Center, 111 North Oceanside Rd.
Valley Stream: Firemen's Memorial Field, 124 Albermarle Ave.
Wantagh: Public Library, 3285 Park Ave.
West Hempstead: Public Library, 500 Hempstead Ave.
Mineola: Board of Elections, 240 Old Country Rd.*
Dates and Times (All Locations):
Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 29, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 30, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Thur., Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 1, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*All Board of Elections hours same as above except Oct. 28 and Oct. 30, open until 8 p.m.
Babylon: Babylon Town Hall Annex, 281 Phelps Lane, North Babylon
Brookhaven: Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville
East Hampton: Windmill Village, 219 Accabonac Road, Community Room #2, East Hampton
Huntington: Dix Hills Fire Department, 115 East Deer Park Road, Dix Hills
Islip: Islip Town Hall Annex, 401 Main Street, Islip
Riverhead: Riverhead Senior Center, 60 Shade Tree Lane, Riverhead
Smithtown: Nesconset Elementary School, 29 Gibbs Pond Rd, Nesconset
Southampton: Stony Brook University Southampton — Gymnasium, 70 Tuckahoe Rd, Southampton
Southold: Southold Senior Center, 750 Pacific Street, Mattituck
Shelter Island: Shelter Island Youth Recreational Center — American Legion, 1 Bateman Road, Shelter Island
Dates and Times (All Locations):
Sat., Oct. 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 28, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 29, Noon-8 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 30, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 31, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 1, Noon-8 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
*Voters can vote at any polling place in their county.
Sources: Nassau and Suffolk County boards of elections