2021 General Election FAQ
I am a voter in Suffolk County. What are my voting options for the November 2021 General Election?
- On Election Day– November 2, 2021 at your designated polling place. – Each of Suffolk County’s 336 polling places will be clean, safe and secure. Booths, privacy sleeves and pens will be continuously sanitized. Registered voters can find their polling location using the New York State Poll Site Search tool: voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/.
- During the Early Voting period for the November 2021 General Election (October 23rd through October 31st ) – Voters may vote at any one of the 12 Early Voting locations throughout Suffolk County which will be clean, safe and secure. Booths, privacy sleeves and pens will be continuously sanitized. For a list of Early Voting Poll locations and times, see below. For more information on early voting in Suffolk County, visit: https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/Early-Voting-FAQ.
3. By Absentee Ballot – In addition to existing reasons to obtain an Absentee Ballot, New York State has proscribed that “illness” shall include the risk of contracting or spreading a disease like COVID-19 [source]. Completed, signed, and sealed Absentee Ballots may be submitted in person at any Early Voting Site or Election Day poll site during the scheduled voting hours, or at the Suffolk County Board of Elections during office hours. Absentee Ballots submitted by mail to the Suffolk County Board of Elections must be postmarked by Election Day and must reach the Board of Elections no more than 7 days after the election to be counted. Options and deadlines for requesting an Absentee Ballot and further details on how to submit an Absentee Ballot are provided at the Suffolk County Board of Elections website, here: https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/Absentee-Voting-FAQ. The Suffolk County Board of Elections will stay open until 7:00 PM on Tuesday, October 19 and Thursday, October 21 for Absentee Ballot requests and submissions [source] .
Do I qualify to vote absentee?
All registered voters are eligible to receive an absentee ballot for the following reasons:
- Absence from Suffolk County on Election Day;
- Temporary illness or disability including instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling place because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease like COVID-19;
- Permanent illness or physical disability;
- Duties related to primary care of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled;
- Resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital; or
- Detention in a jail/prison, awaiting trial, awaiting action by a grand jury, or in a prison for a conviction of a crime or offense which is not a felony [source] .
Am I eligible to vote?
Eligibility requirements in New York State include:
- be a United States citizen;
- be 18 years old (you may pre-register at 16 or 17 but cannot vote until you are 18);
- resident of this state and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election;
- not be in prison for a felony conviction;
- not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court;
- not claim the right to vote elsewhere [source] .
I’m not sure I’m registered to vote. Is there an easy way to check?
Check your voting status in Suffolk County using the New York State voter lookup tool: voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/. If your name does not appear after searching and you believe that you are registered to vote, contact your local Board of Elections (BOE).
Suffolk County Board of Elections
PO Box 700
700 Yaphank Avenue
Yaphank, NY 11980
For a complete list of New York State County Boards of Elections: elections.ny.gov/countyboards.html.
I am NOT registered to vote. Is there still time to register to vote in the November 2021 General Election?
- In-Person: The deadline to register to vote in the November 2021 General Election is October 8, 2021.
- By Mail: Voter registration applications sent by mail must be postmarked no later than October 8, 2021 and received by a board of elections no later than October 13, 2021 to be eligible to vote in the General Election [source] .
Ways to Register
In Suffolk County, complete and submit a New York State Voter Registration Form to the Suffolk County Board of Elections. Voter registration forms are available at the Reference desk of the Patchogue-Medford Library, or can be printed from the Suffolk County Board of Elections website (English- and Spanish-language versions available): suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/InvitationtoBid.
You may also register to vote in person at your county Board of Elections or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center. A list of agency-based voter registration centers is provided at the New York State website, here: elections.ny.gov/NVRA.html. Be sure to check hours of operation, procedures, what you’ll need to bring, etc., before making the trip.
If you have a New York State issued DMV ID card, you may also register to vote by using the DMV Electronic Voter Registration Application: dmv.ny.gov/more-info/motor-voter-faqs-0. (Note: The DMV does not approve or deny voter registration applications. They send applications to the Boards of Elections offices for their review. [source] )
Other options for obtaining a copy of the Voter Registration Form include requesting a form by mail by entering your name into the New York State mailing list database, elections.ny.gov/VoterRegSite/VoterRegistration; or by calling 1-800-FOR-VOTE.
If I go to cast my ballot in person for the November 2021 General Election, what COVID-19 safety measures can I expect to be in effect?
You are required to wear a mask/face covering and maintain six feet of distance when entering any Board of Elections facility or voting poll site if you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (This requirement is pursuant to NYS DoH guidance effective May 19.) Booths, privacy sleeves and pens will be continuously sanitized [source] .
I just moved to a different address within New York State and would like to update my voter registration address. How do I do that?
To update your address, use the Voter Registration Form (the same form used for voter registration). Copies are available at the Reference desk of the Patchogue-Medford Library, or can be printed from the Suffolk County Board of Elections website: suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/InvitationtoBid. Holders of New York State DMV-issued ID cards may also use the DMV Electronic Voter Registration Application to make changes to your information: dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application. Changes of address for the November 2021 General Election are due by October 13, 2021.
If I am not registered to vote, can I register to vote AND cast my ballot for the November 2021 General Election on the same day in New York State?
At the present time, New York does not have same-day voter registration. Your registration must be completed in advance of the election you wish to vote in by the specified registration deadline.
Where do I go to vote if I plan to vote in person on Election Day?
Voters who plan to vote in person on Election Day will go to their local polling places to cast their ballots. Registered voters can find their polling location using the New York State Poll Site Search tool: voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/. If you are having trouble finding your information this way, or do not have access to a computer, you may also contact your local Board of Elections for assistance.
Can I apply to become a poll worker?
Yes! Historically, 55 percent of all New York’s poll workers are over the age of 60, making them especially vulnerable to the pandemic. This has resulted in a significant need for poll workers who are willing and able to assist with the administration of in-person voting during all elections [source] . To inquire about becoming a poll worker in Suffolk County during this year’s General Election, fill out and submit the form here (this is the form for poll workers applying to work outside of NYC): https://www.elections.ny.gov/BecomePollworkerForm.html.
Where do I go to vote if I plan to vote in person during the Early Voting period?
Voters who would like to vote early in-person may cast their ballot at any one of 12 Early Voting Sites listed by the Suffolk County Board of Elections. The site closest to the Patchogue-Medford area is Brookhaven Town Hall. (Note that hours vary.) The complete list of Early Voting Sites is as follows: [PDF here]
I would like to speak with someone about an issue I encountered while voting. Is there a helpline I can call?
- 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
- 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
- 1-844-YALLA-US (Arabic)
I would like to find out more about what will be included on my ballot in advance of voting. Are there any resources available?
The League of Women Voters’ Education Fund VOTE 411 website includes a ballot and candidate information lookup tool by address, available here: https://www.vote411.org/ballot#.UFoDEFHh-Sp.
The League of Women Voters also provides information on statewide ballot proposals (and more) in their New York State 2021 Voters Guide, available here: https://my.lwv.org/new-york/suffolk-county/voting.
I would like more information about voting in New York State and Suffolk County and about voting in general! Where can I start?
League of Women Voters of Suffolk County: https://my.lwv.org/new-york/suffolk-county/voting
Suffolk County Board of Elections: https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/InvitationtoBid
New York State Board of Elections: https://www.elections.ny.gov
VOTE 411: https://www.vote411.org/