Vote Early and Often
October 20, 2008 2:10 PM   Subscribe

What's the scoop on early voting in New York?

I'd like to vote early, in person, in Manhattan. According to Obama's website, There is no early voting in New York; according to the NYC Board of Elections' website, "Absentee voting in person begins as soon as the ballots are available (at least 32 days before an election)."

I may be out of town on November 4., and I fear that by requesting an absentee ballot this late in the game, I may jeopardize my ability to vote. My mailing address is a P.O. box that takes black holes right out of the realm of the theoretical and incontravertibly proves that at least one exists, and it's in Morningside Heights. I'm talking, mail arriving weeks late (a separate gripe that may warrant its own AskMeFi post).

I've spent a while unsuccessfully slogging through the automated menus of 1-866-VOTE-NYC and, as seen above, Google returns conflicting results. I thought about getting a ballot in person at the Board of Elections Office, but given that the info I found on early voting may be suspect, I wonder about picking up absentee ballots in person, too.

Anyone got good intel or suggestions? Thanks, kids. Fifteen days.
posted by andromache to Law & Government (5 answers total)
You could try calling the NY Dems directly and asking, but my impression is that there is not enough time to do the absentee mail thing now, especially if you have an unreliable post office.
That said, hey- at least you're not in a swing state. NY pretty much has your vote covered.
posted by rmless at 2:19 PM on October 20, 2008

Response by poster: hey- at least you're not in a swing state
Yeah, this was my thought, too. The reason I hope to be out of town on the 4th is that I'm trying to get to a swing state and drive voters to the polls, so if I can get just one person to vote who might not otherwise have done so, I'd have helped out immesurably more than I would have done by voting in NY, which is a lock for my boy.

That said, I remember Bush's 2004 comment after winning 51% of the vote (instead of 48%, as he did in 2000). "I earned some political capital, and I intend to spend it." In other words, getting a bit more of the popular vote can really effect an executive's governing style, and also what the legislature will let him get away with. Which is why it still is really important for Californians and New Yorkers to vote, archaic electoral college notwithstanding.

You could try calling the NY Dems directly and asking
Yes, good idea, thanks.

Ah, dickery.
posted by andromache at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2008

Response by poster: God damn it. AFFECT an executive's governing style.
posted by andromache at 2:40 PM on October 20, 2008

The Early Voting Information Center says that early voting in person for NY is not permitted, and that absentee ballots by mail are allowed with a "legitimate" excuse.

Seems like you're getting conflicted information. I'm with rmless about contacting NY Dems directly. I'm sure they would love to help you if it's possible.
posted by joshrholloway at 6:36 PM on October 20, 2008

Best answer: From here:

Option 1 looks like the answer you are looking for, I hope.

New York
New York has absentee voting in-person and by mail. You must qualify to vote absentee in New York, by (for example) being "unavoidably absent from your county on Election Day" while volunteering.
Voting Window: In person October 5th – November 3rd.
How to:

1. If you complete the absentee voter application at your county board of elections, you can then immediately vote at the same location. Board of election locations here. They should have copies at the board of election's office, but you can still look at/print out an online copy here [PDF file that I don't know how to link to so click on the source link].

2. Or you can fill out the application and mail it to the county board of elections. The application must be received by October 28th. They will send you a ballot which you must then return to vote.
posted by spec80 at 8:39 PM on October 20, 2008

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