When and how to vote: Monroe County Board of Elections lays out different methods, deadlines for voters

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Election Day is just a few weeks away, but you don’t necessarily need to wait until November 3 to cast your ballot.

Officials from the Monroe County Board of Elections — Commissioners Lisa Polito Nicolay and Jackie Ortiz as well as Deputy Commissioners Nancy Leven and Natalie Sheppard — held a press conference Friday in Rochester to give the community an update on the daunting task of organization elections during a pandemic.

Deadlines and key dates

October 9, 2020 — Last day for new voter registration

October 14, 2020 — Last day for registered voters to update their address

October 24, 2020 – November 1, 2020 — Early voting period in Monroe County

October 27, 2020 — Last day to apply for general election ballot (BOE says “Please be warned that despite this deadline, the Post Office has advised they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.)

“It is certainly both an anxious and electrifying year all wrapped into one. Every presidential year is and this year is no different,” Ortiz said. “We want all who want to participate to easily be able to do so. We are currently up to date with vote registration forms that have arrived in the mail or over the counter.”

Full press conference

Absentees

New York State has granted all voters access to absentee ballots, should they choose to vote that way, due to COVID-19. Although there is still time to request an absentee ballot, many voters in Monroe County have already submitted requests.

For this year, we have already received 94,395 applications to vote via absentee ballot,” Sheppard said. “With the month that is left we are continuing to get new absentee ballot applications every day — the lowest that we got for one day has been approximately 350.”

You can download an absentee ballot request online here.

BOE officials say absentee ballots will be mailed out in waves, adding that the first wave was sent out during the last week of September, and it included 36,824 ballots.

Early voting

Early voting will be available to registered Monroe County voters from October 24 through November 1. Times and locations for early voting is as follows:

Early voting cates and times for General Election

  • Saturday, October 24, 2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 25, 2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Monday, October 26, 2020: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Friday, October 30, 2020: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 31, 2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 1, 2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Early voting locations

  • David F. Gantt Community Center – 700 North St, Rochester, NY 14605
  • City of Rochester Recreation Bureau – 2nd Floor, 57 St Paul St, Rochester, NY 14604
  • Genesee Valley Field House – 1316 Genesee St, Rochester, NY 14611
  • Edgerton Recreation Center – 41 Backus St, Rochester, NY 14608
  • SUNY Empire State College – 680 Westfall Rd, Rochester, NY 14620
  • Town of Chili Senior Center – 3235 Chili Ave, Rochester, NY 14624
  • North Greece Road Church of Christ – 1039 N Greece Rd, Rochester, NY 14626
  • Marketplace Mall (North Entrance) – 1 Miracle Mile Dr, Rochester, NY 14623
  • Irondequoit Public Library – 1290 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY 14617
  • Harris-Whalen Park Lodge – 2126 Penfield Rd, Penfield, NY 14526
  • Perinton Square Mall – 6720 Pittsford Palmyra Rd, Fairport, NY 14450
  • Webster Recreation Center – 1350 Chiyoda Dr, Webster, NY 14580

Polling sites

There will be 282 polling sites in Monroe County for voters to cast their ballot on Election Day. That is 62 less polling than the 2016 election. Leven says that due to COVID-19 precautions, some previous polling sites opted out.

Leven says there will be 95 polling sites in the city, and 187 scattered about the county’s towns and villages. Leven says that all election inspectors at polling sites will be masked and there will be hand sanitizer available.

“We’ll be doing social distancing and wiping down all of our equipment throughout the day,” Leven said. “We want not only the voters to stay safe, but our staff and inspectors stay safe and as everyone to please wear a mask if you are able.”

Due to less polling sites than the previous election, BOE officials urge voters to look up their updated polling sites. You can look up your polling site online, where you can also preview a version of the ballot you will be given based on your location.

“If there is a line, we’re going to try to have that line wait outdoors,” Nicolay said. “We’re going to do our best, but yes I think it is safe to go vote.”

MORE | Help wanted: How to make $14 per hour working the polls on Election Day

Nicolay says the BOE is still looking for a few hundred inspectors on the Republican side. The Democrats are all set, but if you are a registered GOP voter and are interested in becoming an inspector on election day, you are encouraged to contact:

  • Abby Staub: e-mail or call (585)-753-1523
  • Paul Wagner: e-mail or call (585)-753-1534

You will be paid for your time as an election inspector and if you’re currently receiving unemployment benefits, this will not impact your eligibility.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.

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