Everything Manhattan voters need to know about the Nov. 3 general election

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New Yorkers took precautions when casting their ballots in the primary on Tuesday, June 23.
Photo by Todd Maisel

Have you heard about the 2020 presidential election yet? 

All kidding aside, the big day is just two weeks away, and New Yorkers will finally get a chance to go to the polls and cast their ballots this weekend, as early voting starts on Saturday, Oct. 24.

The buzzword for this year’s election will be patience. No one should expect to know the winner of this election on Nov. 3. Millions of voters across America will be casting their ballots by mail this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic; the New York City Board of Elections alone has already reported that more than 750,000 residents have requested mail-in absentee ballots.

It may take up to 10 days before the Board of Elections begins counting the mail-in votes. However, anyone who cast their ballots through early voting or on Election Day, Nov. 3, will be included in the preliminary totals reported on Election Night. The final, official vote tally will come after all absentee ballots are counted.

Here’s more of what you need to know about voting:

Dates to remember

Early voting begins this year on Saturday, Oct. 24. Voters can head to their designated polling site to vote early, or use the time to drop off their absentee ballots, rather than send them in through the mail.

Manhattan has 16 early voting sites this year, a list of which can be found at vote.nyc/early-voting-information. If you’re unsure which voting site you are assigned to, you can search your address at voterlookup.elections.ny.gov.

Find below the operating hours of all early voting sites. 

  • Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 26, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28, from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 30, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The final day to request an absentee ballot is Tuesday, Oct. 27. Absentee ballots can be requested here. Voters are also able to request an absentee ballot in person at an early voting site or at the Board of Elections Manhattan office (located at 200 Varick St., 10th Floor, SoHo), but must do so before Nov. 2

If mailing in the absentee ballot, the envelope must be postmarked by Nov. 3, the day of the election. Expecting a large number of absentee ballots, the United States Postal Service has encouraged those voting absentee to send in their ballots as soon as possible

More information on absentee voting can be found here

A sample of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application as seen on the city’s Board of Elections website.

If mailing in the absentee ballot, the envelope must be postmarked by Nov. 3, the day of the election. Expecting a large number of absentee ballots, the United States Postal Service has encouraged those voting absentee to send in their ballots as soon as possible

More information on absentee voting can be found here

Tuesday, Nov. 3, is the day of the election. If you’re choosing to vote in person, head to the polls and make your voice heard. 

A few things to keep in mind

With many irregularities, this year’s election is shaping up to be a confusing one. Here are a few things to keep in mind while figuring out your plan for voting. 

If you’re choosing to vote in person, you must wear a mask and practice social distancing at your polling site. Poll workers will be required to practice the same COVID-19 protections as the voters. Hand sanitizer will be available at all polling locations, and voting booths will be socially distanced and regularly cleaned.  

If voting absentee, be sure to follow all the rules and regulations put forth by the Board of Elections. If these rules are not followed, your vote will likely not be counted. 

After making your votes on the ballot, the ballot must be folded and placed in a smaller envelope. The voter must sign and date the back of the envelope. After sealing the envelope, it must then be placed in a larger envelope that is addressed to the county’s Board of Elections (200 Varick St., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10014). The ballot can then be mailed or delivered to the Board of Elections office, early voting place or regular polling place on the day of the election. 

The candidates

In addition to the presidential election between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, a handful of other races will appear on your ballot. 

Here is a full list of every candidate running for office in Manhattan on Nov. 3. 

Congressional races

All four Members of Congress representing Manhattan have opponents, but are expected to easily win re-election in this heavily Democratic borough.

Democratic/Working Families Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez is seeking her 15th term on Capitol Hill and another two years representing much of Chinatown and the Lower East Side, along with parts of Brooklyn and Queens, in the 7th Congressional District. She’ll be facing Republican/Conservative challenger Brian Kelly of Brooklyn and Libertarian nominee Gilbert Midonnet, also of Brooklyn.

Likewise, Democratic/Working Families Congressman Jerry Nadler is also seeking a return trip to Congress for the 10th District, which covers much of the West Side south of 122nd Street as well as Chelsea, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan. His opponents are Republican/Conservative nominee Cathy Bernstein, a financial consultant from the Upper West Side, and Libertarian nominee Michael Madrid, a systems manager from Midtown.

After winning a hard-fought primary, Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney is expected to easily secure re-election to the 12th District seat, which includes parts of western Brooklyn and Queens and covers much of the East Side south of 98th Street and extends into Midtown, the East Village and the Lower East Side. Her opponents in the general election are Republican/Conservative candidate Carlos Santiago-Cano, a small business owner from Astoria, Queens, and Libertarian Steven Kolln, a software engineer from the Upper East Side.

Finally, Democratic/Working Families Congressman Adriano Espaillat seeks another term in office as representative of the 13th Congressional District, which includes Harlem, Upper Manhattan and parts of western Bronx. He’s facing challenges from Republican nominee Lovelynn Gwynn, an entrepreneur from Harlem, and Conservative candidate Christopher Morris-Perry of Harlem.

State Senate contests

Incumbent state senators representing Manhattan are also expected to win re-election on Nov. 3.

One candidate for re-election, Democratic/Working Families state Senator Brad Hoylman, doesn’t have an opponent at all. He’ll serve another term in the 27th Senatorial District, which covers a large chunk of Midtown Manhattan as well as the East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca, Hell’s Kitchen and parts of the Upper West Side.

Democratic state Senator Brian Kavanagh does have a challenger for his 26th District seat in Republican/Conservative nominee Lester Chang, a logistical consultant from SoHo. The 26th District covers much of Lower Manhattan (including the areas of SoHo, NoHo, East Village, Little Italy, Chinatown, Battery Park City, Tribeca and the Financial District) and hops over the East River to include parts of northern Brooklyn.

In the 28th District, Democratic/Working Families state Senator Liz Krueger seeks another term in office against Republican/Independence candidate Michael Zumbluskas, a resource management analyst for the city’s Department of Transportation. The 28th District includes the Flatiron District, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Midtown and the Upper East Side.

Further north, Democratic state Senator Jose Serrano is seeking re-election to the 29th District seat covering parts of the Upper East and West Sides, Roosevelt Island, East Harlem, Randall’s and Wards Islands, and the South Bronx. Challenging him for the seat is Republican nominee Jose Colon of the Bronx.

Democratic state Senator Brian Benjamin may have his sights set on the 2021 City Comptroller’s race, but first, he’s running for re-election to the 30th District seat representing much of Upper Manhattan, Harlem, East Harlem, and the Upper East and West Sides. He’ll face Republican challenger Oz Sultan, a district leader from Harlem.

Staying in northern Manhattan, Democratic/Working Families state Senator Robert Jackson will seek another term in Albany representing the 31st District against Republican candidate Melinda Crump, a public relations specialist from the Upper West Side. The district covers Inwood, Upper Manhattan, Washington Heights and the Hudson River waterfront down to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Assembly races

Of the 12 Manhattan Assembly seats up for grabs on Election Day, the most interesting contest centers on a seat held by an incumbent who missed qualifying for the Democratic nomination and is now running on a third-party ballot line.

Incumbent Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, of the 76th District, is seeking another term in office on the Rise and Unite ballot line. In May, she was knocked off the June 23 primary ballot due to a filing snafu.

As a result, the Democratic Party isn’t technically fielding a candidate in the general election against Seawright, with her third-party ballot line, or the other challenger in the race, Republican/Liberal candidate Louis Puliafito, a union steward and doorman from the Upper East Side.

The 76th Assembly District covers much of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island.

Just four other Manhattan Assembly races on the ballot are competitive.

Democratic Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is facing a challenge from Republican Tamara Lashchyk, a career coach from SoHo, for the 66th District seat covering much of the West Village, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan.

In northern Manhattan, Democratic Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez seeks another term in office representing the 68th District against Republican challenger Daby Benjamine Carreras, a capital investment manager. The 68th District covers much of East Harlem and the Upper East Side, and includes Randall’s and Wards Islands.

Democratic Assemblywoman Inez Dickens is seeking re-election to the 70th District seat covering Harlem and West Harlem. Her opponent in the general election is Craig Schley, who’s running on his own ballot line, Schley for 70 Assy.

Finally, Democratic/Working Families Assemblyman Dan Quart is vying for another term in Albany as the 73rd District’s voice. He’s facing Republican candidate Judy Graham, an entrepreneur from Midtown. The district covers much of the Upper East Side and Midtown.

The other incumbent Assembly Members representing Manhattan are running unopposed: 

  • Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou of the 65th District (Chinatown, Lower Manhattan and the Lower East Side)
  • Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of the 67th District (Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown, Upper West Side)
  • Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell of the 69th District (Harlem and the Upper West Side)
  • Assemblyman Al Taylor of the 71st District (Inwood, Hudson Heights, Washington Heights and Sugar Hill)
  • Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa of the 72nd District (Inwood, Hudson Heights, Washington Heights)
  • Assemblyman Harvey Epstein of the 74th District (Midtown East, Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, East Village, Lower East Side)
  • Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of the 75th District (Chelsea, Midtown, Hell’s Kitchen, Upper West Side).

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