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early voting NYS

James Brown / WXXI News

Last month, state elections officials canceled the Democratic presidential primary, citing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres ruled that the primary must happen on June 23. 

It's the latest shift in an unusual election season, leaving Board of Elections officials like LaShana Boose scrambling to adapt.

With a little over a month before early voting starts, Boose said the board was already planning to send out absentee ballot applications to all registered voters as a result of an executive order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The state's first-ever early balloting period started Saturday. Voters can cast votes at select polling locations until Nov 3, instead of waiting until Election Day, Nov. 5.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was expected to vote Saturday in Buffalo. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who signed legislation in January authorizing early voting, hasn't said if he'll vote in the early period, or on Election Day.

New York is a latecomer to early voting. All but 12 states already had it. Advocates hope expanded ballot box access will increase turnout.

File Photo

Friday is the last day to register if you want to vote in the Nov. 5 general election. 

If you make the deadline either by registering in person or postmarking your application on time, you are eligible to vote early as well. It’s the first year for early voting in New York state, and seven polling sites will be open from Oct. 26 through Nov. 3.

If you miss the deadline, you still have options.