Starting Oct. 26, voters in New York State will be allowed to cast their ballots early for primary and general elections. Scarsdale residents will be able to do so at the public library in Eastchester and Greenburgh residents at the Dobbs Ferry village hall, according to an announcement issued by the Westchester Board of Elections July 25, although the early voting information and locations are subject to change.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill in January to allow for early voting for all registered voters. Voters can begin submitting ballots 10 days prior to any election. The next election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 5.
“We are very pleased that New York will have the opportunity to vote early, beginning with this fall’s election,” said Mary Kirsch, the voter service representative for the League of Women Voters of Westchester. “Voting will be much more convenient for people who work long hours and have long commutes. I see no disadvantages for the voter. It is more work for the board of elections.”
Localities are mandated to provide early voting to residents and counties are responsible for the additional costs associated with early voting, including staffing the polling places and providing outreach materials to the community.
“I like the idea of [early voting],” Scarsdale Democratic chairman Mark Lewis said. “I wish the state would’ve fully funded it.”
Linda Killian, the Scarsdale Republican chair, doesn’t believe there is any evidence that early voting will increase voter participation.
“Putting this new legislation in place will significantly increase costs for taxpayers for additional equipment, personnel and training,” she said.
Voters who choose to cast their ballot early should expect a similar experience to voting in person. If registered voters are not able to vote in person on Election Day or during the 10-day early voting period, they are entitled to submit absentee ballots.
There will be voting instructions present at the booths and residents can ask election inspectors for help.