Everything You Need To Know To Vote In The NYS Elections
The 2023 State and Local elections are upon us, and everything you need to know to cast your vote in this year's election is below.
Election time is here once again, and it's finally just about time for all of the political ads and lawn signs to go away, but before that can happen, we all have to get to the polls.
According to Federal Law, General Election Day in the United States is always the Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in November. This is how it's been since 1845 when the 28th Congress amended the rules.
This year's election is set aside for state and local-level elected offices and is scheduled for Tuesday, November 7th.
What Are Local Elections?
According to the Thurgood Marshall Institute, local elections are for several state, county, and regional elected offices like mayor, city council, town supervisors, school boards, sheriff, planning commissions, and more.
Voting is so much more than the presidential election. From how police engage with the community to whether public transportation is affordable, safe, and clean to whether affordable housing is being built, local elections shape our communities and impact our lives. Our state, municipal, and county-level elected officials make a wide range of decisions that affect your daily life. Leaving no power on the table means using your vote in every race in every election because it matters.
-Thurgood Marshall Institute
While federal elections like the President get a lot of press, it's the local elections that are often more important to our everyday lives.
There are more than 19,000 cities, towns, and villages in the United States of America, and they all control vital parts of your daily life, from the kind of work you can do, to where you can live and what you can do with your personal property.
What Offices Are Being Elected This Year?
Because this election focuses on state, county, and local issues, there are several people up for election that will have a direct impact on you. Some of the offices up to be elected this year are:
- Erie County Executive
- Niagara County Clerk
- County Legislator(s)
- State Family Court Judge(s)
- Buffalo Common Council Member(s)
- Mayor of Lackawanna
- Cheektowaga Town Supervisor
- Amherst Town Council Member(s)
What Do You Need To Know For Election Day
- Primary Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
- Voting polls and locations all across New York State open at 6 a.m. and stay open until 9 p.m.
- The voting polls will allow everyone who is in line to vote at 9 p.m., and they will remain fully staffed until everyone has cast their vote
- If you don't think you will have enough time to vote on election day because of work, New York State Law requires your employer to give you up to 2 hours of paid time off if you do not have “sufficient time to vote.”
- It's too late to request a mail-in ballot, but if you already have one, you can drop it off at any voting location. You can also drop it off at your local Board of Elections office.
- When you go vote, you must vote at the polling place assigned to you. Because of the 2020 US Census, your voting location may have changed. If you don’t know where that is, you can check the NYS Elections Voter Lookup Tool right here.
- If you live in Erie or Niagara County, you can also check their local voter look-up tools here for Erie County and here for Niagara County. Other counties also may have a look-up tool so that you can check their websites
- New York does NOT require a Voter ID to vote. You can give your name, and you can sign the voter check-in book. However, your ID might make your check-in faster, but it is NOT a requirement.
- If you run into any issues while voting, you can immediately contact the local Board of Elections. You can reach the Erie County BOE at 716-858-8891 and the Niagara County BOE at 716-438-4041 or 716-438-4040.
- Also, the Office of the New York Attorney General would like to hear about any issues you run into; you can find their Election Hotline Tool here.
Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.
–Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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