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Here's what you need to know for the August 23 primary election in NY

You're voting for members of the House of Representatives and Congress.

Anna Rahmanan
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Anna Rahmanan
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Election Day in New York will kick off on Tuesday, August 23 at 6am and the polls will stay open through 9pm that night, when New Yorkers will get to vote for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

This year's contest is a bit unusual. In fact, according to the New York Times, "earlier this year, the state's highest courts ruled that district maps created by Democrats were unconstitutional and ordered them to be redrawn." As a result, although folks voted for a winning Governor Hochul to stay in power, the primaries relating to Congress and the State Senate were pushed back two months.

The primaries were effectively split into two. Below, find everything you should know about next week's primary elections.

When and where are the polls open?

In New York City, polls will be open from 6am-9pm. Your polling place should be within a few blocks of your residence, but it may not be the same spot you voted in the last election. Confirm the location of your polling place at Vote.nyc.

What documents do I need to vote?

You don't need an ID to vote in New York. Instead, you'll give your name and address to a poll worker, and sign to confirm your identity. Pens are also provided. Masks are required at all polling sites, so come prepared. If you encounter any issues or problems at your polling site, call New York’s election protection hotline: 866-390-2992. For this particular race, only registered party members are allowed to vote.

Can I switch political parties on Primary Day?

The short answer is no. Given the district map-related issue that arose a few months ago, New Yorkers technically had the chance to change their party affiliation until Primary Day but the New York State Board of Elections put a stop to that. Voters had until August 11 to change their registration.

What and whom am I voting for?

Vote.nyc is a very good resource for understanding the ballot. As a general statement, you are voting for members of the House of Representatives and the Senate within your own party affiliation. 

There are a lot of races happening next week but one of the most talked-about involves the state's 12th Congressional District, which covers midtown and upper Manhattan. Democratic rivals Representative Carolyn Maloney and Representative Jerrold Nadler face off and, for the first time, the two lawmakers' districts were combined into one. A third candidate, Suraj Patel, has added himself to the mix. 

You might have also heard of former mayor Bill de Blasio putting himself on the ballot of the 10th District (lower Manhattan and a portion of Brooklyn). That ship has sailed: De Blasio actually quit last month citing low poll numbers.

Is early voting happening?

Yes, it is. Early voting officially kicked off this past Saturday, August 13, and it will continue through Sunday, August 21. You can find your early voting poll site right here

What if I can't make it to the polls?

Although the deadline to request an absentee ballot online has already passed, you can head to your local county board of elections to grab one until August 22. You can fill out the absentee ballot and return it by mail with a postmark no later than August 23 or opt to drop it off in person by 9pm at a polling site that day. 

Heads up: as a result of a change in the state law, New York voters will no longer be allowed to cast a ballot on a machine if they have already requested an absentee ballot. However, if, for some reason, you no longer plan to vote via absentee ballot, you can still cast your choice in person on Election Day by using an affidavit ballot.

The New York Times explains that, once the election is over, officials will "determine if the absentee ballot has been received. The affidavit ballot will be counted if the absentee ballot has not been received. If the absentee ballot has been received, the affidavit ballot will not be counted."

Anything else I should know before heading to the polls?

Yes: this time around, there are two special elections on the ballot. The first one involves the 19th Congressional District. Specifically, Governor Hochul picked former Representative Antonio Delgado as her lieutenant governor and, as a result, there is a vacated seat to be filled. Republican Marc Molinaro and Democrat Pat Ryan will battle it out. Interestingly enough, though, given the redrawing of district lines, if Molinaro wins he'll serve a full term but, if Ryan wins, he'll be able to run in the 18th Congressional District. 

The second special election involves the 23rd District, where former Republican Representatives Tom Reed left a vacant job after resigning from the house earlier this year. 

When will the election results be announced?

You can probably expect news outlets to start reporting on at least some of the results by Tuesday night.

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