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WRVO's 2020 voting guide: Be an informed listener


Election Day is November 3, and may be one unlike any other in history. In addition to an historic presidential election, voters in New York will cast ballots for Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, State Supreme Court Justice, and a number of other local races. 

In addition, the coronavirus pandemic will result in tens of thousands of voters across central and northern New York sending in their ballots by mail. WRVO has put together this guide to help you navigate your options when it comes to voting. You’ll find information on registration deadlines, how and where to vote in person, whether on Election Day or during New York’s early voting period, and how to vote by absentee ballot if you wish. 

We’ve also created region-specific pages so you can see some of the important races taking place where you live. We will continue to update these pages as needed until November 3.



Register to vote:


Absentee voting:

This year the qualifications to vote by absentee ballot have been updated to include being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19.

  • Apply for an absentee ballot: English, Spanish, Accessible
  • Applications must be mailed to your local county board of elections.
  • Deadlines for Military and Overseas Voting vary from other absentee ballots. For more information see the New York State Board of Elections website.
  • Even if you request or cast and return an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person. According to the NYS Board of Elections, “The 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.”
  • If you don’t want to mail your completed absentee ballot, you can drop it off at the following locations:
    • Your county Board of Elections office no later than 9 p.m. November 3
    • An early voting site in your county between October 24 - November 1
    • Any polling site no later than 9 p.m. on November 3.
  • If you mail in your ballot, your ballot must be postmarked by November 3 and received by your county Board of Elections office by November 10.  

Early voting:

The early voting period for the general election is October 24, 2020 - November 1, 2020. Find more information about early voting locations and hours in your county by going to your region-specific page, which you’ll find links to below.

In-person voting:

On Election Day, November 3, polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Find your local polling place.

Want to be a poll worker?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York is experiencing a shortage of poll workers. The state Board of Elections says “historically, 55% of all New York’s poll workers are over the age of 60, making them especially vulnerable to the pandemic. This has resulted in a significant need for poll workers who are willing and able to assist with the administration of in-person voting during the November 3 general election.” If you want to help out by becoming a poll worker, learn more here. And yes, you get paid!

Help others become informed voters:

Do you already know how and when you'll vote? Help your family and friends be more informed by sharing this guide with them on Facebook, Twitter and email -- just click the links below.