Following the chaos during the primary on June 23, with long lines at a reduced number of voting locations and widespread confusion about where to cast ballots, there are efforts underway to avoid a similar scenario on Nov. 3.
“It is an extremely challenging situation,” Hastings Mayor Niki Armacost told the Enterprise on Sept. 3, after learning that there would be just one polling place in Hastings, at the James Harmon Community Center on Main Street. It was unclear whether residents who normally vote at the Andrus on Hudson nursing home on South Broadway, or at one of the neighborhood firehouses in Hastings, would be able to vote at the community center.
As of the morning of Sept. 9, the Westchester County Board of Elections had not posted a list of voting locations in the county.
“It really should not be this difficult to assure people their voting rights are safe here in Westchester County,” Armacost said. “Given all the confusion, I strongly urge all residents to vote early in person if they can, as early voting locations have been clearly defined.”
Irvington is in an even worse situation.
“As of today, there aren’t any polling places in Irvington for the November election,” Mayor Brian Smith told the Enterprise on Sept. 3. On Sept. 11, he was told there would be three polling places — Irvington Village Hall, Irvington High School, and the Irvington Public Library.
On Sept. 8, Shimsky confirmed that the Board of Elections had not finalized the list of voting locations.
“This is an extraordinary year because usually the same polling places are available,” she said.
In Hastings, she explained, the usual polling places — Andrus on Hudson and the firehouses — were ruled out in order to protect the elderly and first responders from the risk of Covid-19 infection.
After the primaries, the County Board of Legislators issued a report that faulted the Board of Elections for not properly handling crowds at polling locations amid the pandemic, and for not communicating to the public about polling locations and about early voting.
Early voting will be available at 17 locations from Saturday, Oct. 24, to Sunday, Nov. 1. Residents may use any early voting location in Westchester County. On Election Day, they must vote at their designated polling place.
On Sept. 8, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the State would conduct a public awareness campaign about the three voting options — absentee ballot, early voting, and in person on Election Day. He also issued an executive order allowing voters to drop off completed absentee ballots at Board of Elections offices, early voting locations, and Election Day voting locations, without requiring that they wait in line with in-person voters.
Requests for absentee ballots must be postmarked, e-mailed, or faxed to the Westchester County Board of Elections by Oct. 27. In-person applications will be accepted at the Board of Elections through Nov. 2.
To request an absentee ballot, send an email to BOE-WestAbsentee@westchestergov.com, fax a request to (914) 995-7753 or (914) 995-3190, or call the Board of Elections at (914) 995-5285 or (914) 995-5291. To apply in person, or mail a downloaded application, the address for the Westchester County Board of Elections is 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601. To apply for an absentee ballot because of the coronavirus pandemic, check the “temporary illness” box on the application.
The Board of Elections states that it will begin mailing out absentee ballots after Sept. 18. The board also notes that “Despite the above deadlines, the post office has advised that they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.”
Early Voting Dates and Times
Saturday, Oct. 24, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 25, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 26, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 29, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 30, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 31, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 1, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Early Voting Locations
Dobbs Ferry Village Hall, 112 Main St., Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Eastchester Public Library, 11 Oakridge Place, Eastchester, NY 10709
Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Ave., White Plains, NY 10607
Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., Yonkers, NY 10710
Joseph G. Caputo Community Center, 95 Broadway, Ossining, NY 10562
Mamaroneck Town Center, 740 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck, NY 10543
Mt. Kisco Memorial Complex at Leonard Park, 1 Wallace Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549
Mt. Pleasant Community Center, 125 Lozza Drive, Valhalla, NY 10595
Mt. Vernon City Hall, 1 Roosevelt Square, Mt. Vernon, NY 10550
New Rochelle City Hall Annex, 90 Beaufort Place, New Rochelle, NY 10801
Peekskill Nutrition Center, Neighborhood Center, 4 Nelson Avenue, Peekskill, NY 10566
Pound Ridge Town House, 179 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge, NY 10576
Riverfront Library, One Larkin Center, Yonkers, NY 10701
Somers Town House, 335 Route 202, Somers, NY 10589
Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas St., White Plains, NY 10601
Veterans Memorial Building, 210 Halstead Ave., Harrison, NY 10528
Yorktown Cultural Center, 1974 Commerce St., Yorktown Heights, NY 10598