Here’s everything you need to know about how to cast your vote in the 2020 elections. 

On the federal level, voters will decide on the President of the United States and House of Representatives; local seats for State Senate, State Assembly and Riverhead Town Justice are also on the ballot. 

Voting in person

Election Day is Nov. 3. Voters who choose to vote in-person must wear a mask or face covering and maintain six feet of distance when entering the polling site or Board of Elections facility. 

To check your registration status and confirm the location of your Election Day polling place, visit the NYS Board of Elections website.

Early voting takes place in Suffolk from Oct. 24 through Nov. 1, as follows:

Saturday, Oct. 24 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 25 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 26 – 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 27 – 12 noon – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 28 – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 29 – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 30 – 12 noon – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 31 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 1 – 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

In Riverhead, the early voting polling location is the Riverhead Senior Center at 60 Shade Tree Lane in Aquebogue. 

In Southold, early voting takes place at the Southold Senior Center, 750 Pacific Street in Mattituck.

In Brookhaven, early voting takes place at Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville.

For a complete lisit of early voting venues in Suffolk County, visit the Suffolk Board of Elections website.

Voting by mail 

Voters who wish to vote by mail must fill out an absentee ballot application. In addition to the standard reasons for requesting an absentee ballot, new state legislation authorizes voters to request absentee ballots due to risk of illness, including COVID.  

Absentee ballot applications are available in English and in Spanish and must be either mailed to the county board of elections or delivered there in person.

If absentee ballot applications are mailed to the board of elections, they must be postmarked no later than seven days before Election Day, i.e. Oct. 27. The New York State Board of Elections is warning voters that, despite this deadline, the Post Office has advised it cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.

If hand-delivered, absentee ballot applications can be brought to the county board of elections up to the day before Election Day. The Suffolk County Board of Elections office is located at 700 Yaphank Avenue, Yaphank NY 11980.

Absentee ballots can be postmarked up to the day of the election, Nov. 3. Ballots with a postmark on or before election day will be counted if they are received by Nov. 10. 

People can to register vote by mail or in person. Mailed voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 9 and received by the county board of elections no later than Oct. 14 to be eligible to vote in the General Election on Nov. 3.

It’s not to late to register to vote in November

You may also register in person at the county board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year. To be eligible to vote in the General Election, your application must be received no later than than Oct. 9.  A person who is honorably discharged from the U.S. military or who has become a naturalized U.S. Citizen after Oct. 9 may register in person at the county board of elections until Oct. 24.

Voter registration forms can be downloaded from the NYS Board of Elections website in English and Spanish.

To register to vote you must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years old or older. (You may pre-register at 16 or 17 but cannot vote until you are 18.) You cannot be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction (unless parole pardoned or restored rights of citizenship). You cannot claim the right to vote elsewhere and you cannot have been found to be incompetent by a court.

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Courtney is a photographer, videographer, web designer and writer. She is a lifelong Riverhead resident.