How to Vote in New York City's 2021 General Election

Posted on 10/26/21 by Catherine Maddux

New York Residents Cast Ballots For 2020 U.S. Presidential Election

En español | New York City’s general election for mayor, city council and other local offices is this fall, with options for voting from home and voting early in person.

  • Any voter can request an absentee ballot and vote safely from home.
  • Early in-person voting is available from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31.
  • Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.


How do I register to vote in the election?

The registration window for the Nov. 2 election closed on Oct. 8.

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important election deadlines?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, any voter can request an absentee ballot. If you are affected by COVID-19, check the box for "temporary illness" on the application. The definition has been temporarily expanded to include the risk of contracting or spreading a disease, including COVID-19.

Your absentee ballot application must be postmarked by Oct. 26 if you wish to vote in the general election. The U.S. Postal Service will not guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.

The deadline to apply in person for an absentee ballot is Nov. 1. The last day to postmark an absentee ballot is Nov. 2; it must be received by the local Board of Elections by Nov. 9.

You can request an absentee ballot online, over the phone or in person at a New York City Board of Elections office.

Online: Fill out an application for an absentee ballot on the city Board of Elections website. If you are visually impaired or have a disability that requires you to use an absentee ballot that can be read by a screen reader, request an accessible ballot on the city election website. Track your request online

By mail and in-person: Download the absentee ballot application from the city Board of Elections website, fill it out and email it to apply4absentee@boe.nyc. Or print and mail it to a Board of Elections office or drop it off at your borough’s Board of Elections office. 

If you need an absentee ballot application mailed to you, call the city elections office at 866-868-3692 or email AbsenteeHelp@boe.nyc. Information is available in English and Spanish. 

U.S. military or overseas absentee ballots: Use the Federal Post Card application to request an absentee ballot if you or your family are in the military or you reside overseas. This application will register you to vote and will also serve as your absentee ballot application for two federal general election cycles. For more information, call the New York State Board of Elections at 518-474-1953 or visit its website, or contact the Federal Voter Assistance Program at 800-438-8683.

When is Election Day? When are the polls open?

Tuesday, Nov. 2. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31. Find your early voting site through the city's voter information portal.

Do I need identification to vote?

Registered voters do not need to show ID to vote unless they did not include it with their registration. First-time voters must provide ID when registering. If you do not provide identification by Election Day, you may vote by affidavit ballot.

Acceptable identification:

  • Driver's license number
  • Nondriver's ID number
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number

If you did not provide your driver's license number or Social Security number on your registration, you can include a copy of any of the following documentation with your absentee ballot application:

  • Valid photo ID
  • Current utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check or paycheck
  • Government document that shows name and address


What races are on the ballot?

  • Mayor: Certified results released by the city Board of Elections confirm Eric Adams as the winner of the Democratic mayoral primary. Adams will face Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa. Certified results for all races are available on the Board of Elections website.
  • Comptroller
  • Public advocate
  • City Council
  • Borough president for the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island
  • District attorney for Brooklyn and Manhattan

This guide was updated on Oct. 26 with more information about early voting.

Also of Interest:

This story is provided by AARP New York. Visit the AARP New York page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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