Polling site at PS 375 Jackie Robinson School in Brooklyn on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Voting. (302654)
Polling site at PS 375 Jackie Robinson School in Brooklyn on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Voting. Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The June 28th primaries, the first of two this year, are rapidly approaching. It is important that voters check their registration, check which elected officials are on the ballot in the area since they’ve likely changed due to new districts, and double check where their early voting and primary polling places are.

In this primary election, a process called redistricting has shifted the voting lines for neighborhoods this year, meaning it’s possible the candidates in your State Assembly district have changed. Even though the redistricting maps have been in litigation in New York State’s highest courts for months, an appellate judge recently ruled that the June primaries will continue as scheduled with Democratic-controlled maps, said the Brooklyn Paper.
The maps will still have to be redrawn by 2024 though in the same process that was highly criticized by elected officials and local groups alike for not including Black, Brown, and Asian community input from New York City.
This primary will determine Republican and Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and State Assembly. Other local races on the ballot will include Civil Court in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens; Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan, and State Committee and District Leaders.

Check to see if you’re registered to vote before you get to the polls with nycvotersearch.com/. Knowing whether you’re registered or not helps expedite the voting process so you’re not standing on the sidelines, waiting to register. It’s an easy lookup that only requires your name, borough, zip code, and birthdate. From there, all your active voter information, district information, and a link to your early voting polling site should be available.
Early voting is open to all registered voters until June 26. This is a great option to vote and avoid the crowds on Election Day. June 28 is Election Day, in which polls are open from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Find your poll site and a sample ballot at findmypollsite.vote.nyc/ by entering your address.

If you are interested in mailing your ballot, that is still a possibility. The deadline to ask for an absentee ballot in-person is Monday, June 27. Go to the website nycabsentee.com/ to submit the request. The last day to have your absentee ballot request postmarked is on Election Day, and the Board of Elections must receive that ballot in the mail by Tuesday, July 5 for it to count.

Now the state laws for absentee ballots have recently changed. Voters can’t choose to cast a ballot on a voting machine if they have requested to vote by absentee. They can fill out an affidavit, which will be kept separate until the election wraps and it is verified a person hasn’t voted twice.

At the start of June, the Senate Democratic Majority pushed for the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York which was passed this week to protect voters’ rights and increase language accessibility.

By 2025, NYC Votes hopes to have language support at the polls for Chinese, Bengali, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Arabic, French, Creole, Italian, Polish, Russian, Urdu, and Yiddish speakers.

“While states across the country have worked overtime to restrict voting rights, the New York VRA will strengthen protections for all voters, especially those who have historically been disenfranchised,” said Sen. Zellnor Myrie, who sponsored the bill and chairs the Senate Elections Committee, in a statement.

For general information on registration, candidates, and voting deadlines go to www.nycvotes.org/. Go to nycvotes.org/ to find out more info on the candidates or search by your address who is in your specific district.

Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w

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