2019 General Election
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Erie County Board of Elections Early voting information for Erie County
Niagara County Board of Elections Early Voting information for Niagara County
New York State Board of Elections PART 6211- Early Voting Regulations
More from the League
New Voting Laws in New York State - 2019
This section provides a brief overview of the new voting laws passed by New York State in January 2019.
For more general information on voting, see our Voter Registration FAQ
EARLY VOTING: effective for the November 2019 general election New York now has nine days of early voting before an election. Locations, dates, and times will be posted on the Erie County and Niagara County Boards of Election websites. This means that even if you work long hours, you can vote after hours or on weekends before the election date. Erie County is currently completing the times and directions for its 37 sites. For even more information on early voting, see the LWVNY FAQ on early voting, which includes lists of early voting locations for all New York counties including information on parking and ADA accessibility.
PARTY ENROLLMENT DEADLINE: in effect now You can change your party enrollment by Valentine’s Day [February 14] in any primary election year. Before now, you had to change almost a full year before a primary election. This means that you have more flexibility to change your mind about your party affiliation.
CONSOLIDATED PRIMARIES: went into effect in June, 2019 The state and federal primary elections are now on the same date in June 2019 making voting easier and the election process less expensive. This means that you only have to remember two election dates a year, in June and November, for state and federal elections. Presidential primaries are an exception.
ELECTRONIC POLL BOOKS: effective for the November 2019 general election. Counties may now use electronic poll books if they choose. They have proven to be more efficient and accurate, and will make early voting easier and lines in some polling locations shorter.
REGISTRATION PORTABILITY: in effect now The Board of Elections will automatically update the registration of voters who move within New York State and fill out a change of address with USPS [the post office]. This means that you don’t have to register over again when you move from county to county within the state.
UNIFORM POLLING HOURS DURING PRIMARY ELECTIONS: effective January 1, 2020. All New Yorkers will be able to vote from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. during a primary election, no matter where in the state they live.
PRE-REGISTRATION OF 16 AND 17 YEAR OLDS: effective January 1, 2020. Teens 16 years of age or older may pre-register to vote. The Board of Elections will automatically register them when they turn 18. This means that teens may register when they get their learner’s permits or driver’s licenses at the DMV, or in their high school government classes, where it is convenient for them.
ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION: effective January 1, 2021 New Yorkers will be able to register to vote online through the State Board of Elections website. This means that you won’t need to fill out a paper form in order to register.
SAME DAY REGISTRATION: first step taken—one more legislative approval in 2020 and voter referendum still needed. This removes the constitutional requirement to register to vote at least 10 days before an election. This means that voters will be able to register to vote as late as Election Day, if the rest of the legislative process is fulfilled.
NO-EXCUSE ABSENTEE VOTING [“VOTE BY MAIL”]: first step taken—one more legislative approval in 2020 and voter referendum still needed. This removes the constitutional requirements about when to vote. This means that any New Yorker may request an absentee ballot with no conditions, effectively enabling any registered voter in New York to vote by mail, if the rest of the legislative process is fulfilled.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE 2019 NEW YORK VOTING REFORMS: see the LWVNY summary of the 2019 voting reforms
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON VOTING: see our Voter Registration FAQ