It's not exactly how we are used to casting ballots.
"Everybody is going to be doing it for the first time," said Mike Ryan, the New York City Board of Elections executive director. "The poll workers are going to be doing it for the first time and the voters are going to be doing it for the first time."
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But next month, New Yorkers will be able to head to the polls as many as 11 days before Election Day to cast their ballots early.
The early voting period will extend from October 26 through November 3. Election Day is November 5.
It will mean a new process. The head of the Board of Elections gave us a tutorial.
For one, there will be electronic poll books. Voters will sign on a screen like they would a traditional poll book to check in to vote.
A printer will then print the voter's ballot:
"It will come out and look just like the ballots you are used to seeing. You'll take this ballot, the same way you do on Election Day, you place it in the scanner machine. It will come up, 'Thank you for voting,' and you will be on your way. It's a simple as that," New York City Board of Elections Executive Director Mike Ryan said.
All told, the board has selected 61 locations for early voting:
- 11 in the Bronx
- 18 in Brooklyn
- 9 in Manhattan
- 14 in Queens
- 9 on Staten Island
Voters will have to go to designated poll sites.
Voters should also expect to get a notice in the mail in early October that will give them their early poll site, as well as their poll site for the general election.
(A sample polling site notice. Courtney Gross/NY1.)
Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio offered the board $75 million to open 100 poll sites for early voting across the five boroughs. The board did not meet that goal.
"We have promised to City Hall, and to everyone, and to the voters — most importantly the voters — that we will open as many early voting sites as we can and is practical," Ryan said. "We are working towards the goal of 100 poll sites."
A spokesperson at City Hall told us the administration put $75 million in the budget for early voting anyway. The city claims the board will ultimately receive funding for the cost of the early voting that it actually implements.
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