Election Day is three weeks away and for the first time, New Yorkers will be able to cast their ballots early. The legislature approved early voting this year.
Early voting opens next Saturday, October 26 through November 3 and the locations are probably not your typical polling place. The goal is to make voting more convenient and accessible.
Election Day in New York is now 10 days long and is one of 39 states to have early voting.
"It gives everyone an opportunity to vote,” said Syracuse Metro League of Women Voters Treasurer Roberta Millert. “I like to think, 'Well, gee, polls are open from 6 to 9 o'clock,' but there's a lot of people with family commitments besides their job schedule that makes it impossible to get there that day."
To make the process easier, Onondaga County has added electronic poll books. When you vote, you'll sign in on an iPad. Within minutes, every poll book across the county will have a record of you voting.
"We have these electronic poll books that are going to make it more efficient,” said Onondaga County Board of Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny. “It's going to save us money in the long run. And it's going to make the Election Day experience even better for the voters. When you go into a polling place, you'll be able to go to any electronic poll book and check in."
The Magnarelli Community Center is one of six early voting sites in Onondaga County. Once early voting opens, you can go to any of the locations to cast your vote.
"We wanted to get locations that were as spread around the county as we can,” said Czarny. “We have a pretty large county geographic wise. And we wanted to make sure communities in need of bus routes would have polling locations inside the city of Syracuse."
The Board of Elections Commissioner says in states with early voting, it becomes more and more popular every year. If you don’t vote early, Election Day is November 5, with polls being open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.