Everything you need to know to Vote in the June 22 Democratic Primary Election
Voting is not only a right, but a civic responsibility. The SCF, along with other prominent organizations and leadership have been advocating for everyone to be registered as Democrat so that we may all have a vote in this crucial primary.
Here is all you need to be ready:
1) You must be registered to Vote (as a Democrat).
2) If you are unable to vote in person or you will be out of town on Election Day (June 22, 2021), request an Absentee Ballot, or participate in Early Voting.
What’s “Early Voting”?
Early voting runs from June 12 to 20.
Essentially, you can vote early, in person, at a site that is set up for this purpose. You can find your early voting site at findmypollsite.vote.nyc. Your site will have its hours posted there.
Note that the link above will display both regular AND early voting sites.
What’s an absentee ballot?
An absentee ballot is a way to vote without going to the polls on Election Day. It is often referred to as “voting by mail”, but you can also drop an absentee ballot off at a voting site or the Board of Elections office. You don’t NEED to mail it in.
Because of the pandemic, ANYONE can request an absentee ballot this year. In March 2020, state lawmakers passed a law that said a voter’s concern over spreading or getting COVID-19 counts as a “temporary illness” when requesting an absentee ballot. That means that anyone can still claim “temporary illness” as a reason to request an absentee ballot, regardless of the availability of vaccines or any other factors that may have changed since last year.
How do I request an absentee ballot?
You can request an absentee ballot at www.nycabsentee.com, or by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC.
When can I request an absentee ballot? (And when is the deadline to do so?)
You can request one any time before June 15 to vote in the June 22 primary. But an important note: The deadline to request an absentee ballot may change to June 7, so best to request before then.
When can I expect to get my ballot in the mail?
Even though you can make the request right now to get an absentee ballot, you won’t get your ballot in the mail until at least the last week of May. That’s because Board of Elections officials are still determining which candidates will be on the ballot, and they have a policy to not send out ballots until 32 days before the election.
What do I need to know when filling out my absentee ballot?
You want to make sure you fill out your ballot correctly when you vote absentee. An error could get your ballot thrown out. This year, with ranked choice voting, be careful not to rank two candidates in the same column. That’s called over voting, and it makes your ballot invalid.
With ranked choice voting, you’ll be choosing up to five candidates in order of your preference. The SCF has provided our recommendations on a full page tear out in this month’s issue. To learn more about ranked choice voting, and how it works, please visit nyccfb.info/nyc-votes/ranked-choice-voting/
When mailing your ballot, keep these things in mind:
After you fill out your ballot, put it in what’s called the oath envelope (the smaller one with the signature line). Then, sign the outside of the oath envelope and put it in the mailing envelope.
The mailing envelope will be pre-addressed to your county board of elections office, but you need to use your own stamps.
Campaign Finance Board officials recommend putting three stamps on just to be safe.
You need to mail your ballot by the day before election day. As long as it has a postmark on or before June 21, you’re good.
But you don’t have to mail it. Here’s what to do to drop it off.
You can drop off your absentee ballot at ANY board of elections office, ANY early voting poll site or any election day poll site up until when the polls close on election day. Note: You can also drop off absentee ballots for other people, as long as they’re properly signed and sealed.
You can find your regular polling place at findmypollsite.vote.nyc
What if I decide I want to vote in person but I already requested an absentee ballot?
That’s OK! You can still vote early or on election day in person even if you requested an absentee ballot.
One more time, these are the key dates:
• Request your absentee ballot to be extra safe by June 7.
• Mail your absentee ballot by June 21, or drop it off by the time polls close on primary day, June 22.
Need to figure out who your current elected officials are? Visit mygovnyc.org
Sam Sutton is the President of the SCF, Ron Tawil is the Co-Chairman.