Early Voting begins Saturday, here’s what you need to know

New York Elections

NEW YORK — Early voting begins Saturday in the all-important June 22 primary.

It comes after November saw long lines of two-to-three hours at some early voting locations, and as voters come face-to-face with new ranked choice voting system.

Friday, advocates of Ranked Choice Voting took to the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which will act as an early voting site from June 12-20 for 83 hours of combined early voting across 104 locations. That is almost 20 more than November.

“Last year saw the need for early voting locations,” said Alina Agusti with the Met.  “It’s an honor for us to provide this critical service to our community.”

The November general election saw historically high turnout including on the Upper East Side near the Met and in Park Slope. After waiting in line for three hours Mayor de Blasio proposed overhauling the board of elections. In the end, the board was not overhauled and only some changes were made.

The bigger X-factor this year is ranked choice voting.  This video explains how to vote and how counting works.

Ranked choice voting uses a more complicated counting process to determine a winner if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. However, community groups doing education around ranked choice voting are encouraging people not to focus on the counting. They are advising people just to rank candidates in order of preference.

However, if voters get confused volunteers will be at every polling place to answer questions and make sure you fill out the ballot correctly, said Susan Lerner with Rank the Vote NYC. You don’t have to pick more than one candidate but get more say if you use the new rankings system.  

So many local politicians have begun advising people to maximize their rankings.
“Please, please please, rank all five candidates,” said Rep. Jamaal Bowman Friday. “Do not leave anything blank. It is really important to have your voice heard.

Recent polling by PIX11 News has consistently found that in very competitive Democratic Mayoral Primary it will take the maximum rounds of counting to determine a winner.

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