It’s Election Day! Common Cause Outlines Voters’ Rights & Expectations for Vote Counting

Today is Election Day in New York State. Common Cause/NY has election protection volunteers who are monitoring poll sites and answering questions from voters at select NYC poll sites today. Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY, is available all day for comment.

“Safe and fair elections are our highest priority, and just like years prior, our nonpartisan election protection team is on the ground to help voters exercise their rights, report illegal activity, and answer any questions. We encourage any New Yorker to approach our volunteers or call 866-OUR-VOTE should they have any questions at all,” said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY. “Democracy takes time and every vote counts. That’s why final results will not be available the same day. Accurate and fair election results are worth waiting for.”

Here’s what to expect on Election Day:

  • Our elections are safe and secure.
  • Do not leave your poll site without casting your ballot, whether that means placing it into a scanner or voting by affidavit ballot (also known as a provisional ballot).
  • When in doubt, call 1-866-OURVOTE: a free hotline of legal personnel can talk you through it.
    • Other languages: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
    • 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
    • 1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)
  • Common Cause/NY also has non-partisan Election Protection monitors at selected polling places all over NYC – volunteers who have been trained in our laws – so feel free to ask for help if you see one nearby.
  • Our volunteers serve as either virtual poll monitors or roving poll monitors to assist voters with urgent questions and make sure they know their rights.
  • Volunteers will be in New York City only, in Council Districts with contentious races in southern Brooklyn (Districts 43, 47, and 48), Queens (Districts 19 and 20) and in the Bronx (District 13)
  • You have the right to vote free of harassment. No matter who asks, you never need to show an ID in order to vote if you’ve voted in New York before. If someone asks for your ID, no matter who it is, simply let them know that you are not required to show ID in New York.
  • Find your poll site In NYC or Outside of NYC here. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the state, so get out and vote!
  • If you request/receive/return an absentee ballot, and want to vote on election day you will have to vote by affidavit ballot unless you bring your complete absentee ballot with you to turn in. If your absentee ballot is received by the BOE it will negate the affidavit ballot.

Here’s what to expect post-election day:

  • Trusted election officials are counting and verifying every ballot to ensure that every vote is counted. Our election system is safe and secure and follows the law.
  • In New York, thanks to a new pro-voter law, absentee ballots are counted as they come in. However, election night results are not complete. This is because:
    • The deadline for receipt of absentee ballots is Tuesday, November 14th and absentee ballots will continue to be counted as they are received.
    • Election night results will include all ballots cast on election day and during early voting, as well as valid absentee ballots that have been received through early voting.
    • Affidavit ballots will be canvassed four days after the election.
  • We caution against candidates declaring victory too early in close races.