Election Day is less than two weeks away — but you don’t have to wait. Election Day for you can be just two days away, and you don’t even need a promo code or to call right now!
All you need is to be a registered voter, and you too can enjoy our newly won right to early voting. Work on weekdays and find it hard to get away? Vote on Saturday. Observe the Jewish sabbath and can’t vote then either? Vote on Sunday. Face a changing schedule and aren’t sure when you’ll be off? Play it by ear and go when you can.
Early voting will be open for nine days, from Oct. 26 through Nov. 3. There’ll be one day with no ballots cast and then Election Day is Nov. 5.
During early voting, you probably won’t be going to your usual polling place. But there will be 14 sites across Queens, from Astoria to Bellerose, from Arverne to East Elmhurst, that will be ready for business. To find out which one you can use, just go to nyc.pollsitelocator.com.
And whether you go to the polls early or on Election Day, please do vote. Turnout has been abysmal. In the June 25 Democratic primary for Queens district attorney, for example, 34,920 people voted for winner Melinda Katz. That’s less than 5 percent of the more than 766,000 registered Democrats here who are considered “active voters.” They don’t seem very active to us. We sure hope to do better in the general election.
There’s plenty at stake. Katz is up against Republican rival Joe Murray. The winner will take a seat with plenty of power and no term limits. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, a Democrat who won his seat in a special election, is facing a challenge from Republican City Councilman Joe Borelli of Staten Island. A half-dozen state Supreme Court seats and three Civil Court judgeships also are up. And there are five propositions on the ballot — on everything from the fundamentals of how elections are won to budgeting, ethics, land use and police oversight.
Increasing turnout is the very point of early voting. Let’s show that given more opportunity to exercise one of our most basic rights, we’ll take it.