While the 2020 presidential contest is more than a year away, New Yorkers have some consequential choices to make in next month’s general election — but they must be registered to vote to participate.
Voters across the five boroughs must register by Friday, October 11, 2091 to cast ballots November 5, 2019, for public advocate and several proposed changes to the City Charter. That’s also the day Queens residents will pick their new district attorney and voters in Brooklyn’s 45th City Council District will choose their representative for the third time this year.
New Yorkers can also vote early for the first time this year starting Saturday, Oct. 26 at more than 60 locations across the city.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a Democrat, is looking to hold onto his job for two more years after winning a February special election to replace Letitia James, who became state attorney general. He’s facing Republican City Council Member Joe Borelli and Devin Balkind, a self-described civic technologist.
Also on the ballot are five sets of amendments to the charter, the city’s governing document. They deal with elections, police oversight, government ethics, the city budget and land use. Arguably the most significant is a proposal to use ranked-choice voting in municipal elections, which would let voters rank candidates in order of preference instead of choosing just one.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is heavily favored to win the district attorney race after squeaking out a Democratic primary win over the progressive public defender Tiffany Cabán. She’s up against Joe Murray, a Republican ex-cop.
Council Member Farah Louis is looking to win her third race this year for her seat, which Williams left to become public advocate. After winning a special election in May and a primary in June, the Democrat will have to fend off the community organizer Anthony Beckford and the Libertarian candidate David Fite.
So there are still plenty of reasons to go to the polls even though it’s an off-year election. Haven’t registered yet? Don’t fret — there are lots of ways to get it done:
- Online. The Department of Motor Vehicles has a website that lets you register to vote or update your registration online. You’ll need your driver’s license or other state ID number, your birth date and the last four digits of your Social Security number to submit your information. Use the online registration tool at this link.
- By mail. Download the New York State voter registration form at this link and mail it to the New York City Board of Elections at 32 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Forms must be postmarked by Friday, Oct. 11 and received no later than Wednesday, Oct. 16.
- In person. The city Board of Elections’ six offices will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. Consider making a stop on your lunch break or after work. The office locations are listed at this link.
- If you’re not sure whether you’re registered, you can check your status at this website.
Take some time to ensure you can make your voice heard in next month’s general election via source.