Early voting begins in New York this week, with in-person early voting starting on Saturday, October 29.
Early voting has been a popular option with New Yorkers ever since it was introduced in 2019. That first year, over 250,000 people voted early.
Jeanette Senecal, senior director of mission impact with the League of Women Voters, said she hopes people will vote early if they can – although she worries whether they have the right information about how to cast their ballots.
“We had the pre-COVID rules, then we had COVID rules,” said Senecal, “and now, we have the semi-post-COVID rules that people are going to be following. And so, every voter really needs to confirm what the process is.”
Senecal added that with new rules surrounding voting, it’s like being a first-time voter all over again.
She also recommended that people be especially careful to understand ballot initiatives – some of which are cleverly worded – to ensure they’re not voting against their own interests.
Anyone who needs to confirm how to vote can visit ‘vote411.org,’ or the New York State Board of Elections website.
Senecal said she thinks turnout could be high this November, given some of the issues at hand.
A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found half of registered voters describe themselves as “more motivated to vote” than in years past. However, no one political party holds an advantage.
Overall, Senecal said she wants people to take advantage of their rights and vote.
“People really want our democracy to work for the people, and to make sure we’re running free, fair, and accessible elections,” said Senecal, “because the people need to make the decisions.”
She said voting is the only way to ensure that people’s voices will affect their communities. A recent Marist College poll shows some of the top issues for New Yorkers are inflation and preserving democracy.
Edwin is a reporter and producer in North Tonawanda, New York. He’s previously reported for the Niagara Gazette and the Ithaca Times. Edwin got an early start in radio interning for WBFO-88.7FM, NPR’s Buffalo affiliate. In 2018, he graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a B.A. in Journalism, and in 2022, graduated from Syracuse University with an M.S. in Communications.