What you need to know if you're voting Tuesday

Primary Day in New York
Posted at 12:21 PM, Apr 18, 2016

New York is gearing up for its first pivotal primary election in decades.

We've put together everything you need to know before heading to the polls on Tuesday, April 19. 

In several counties, including Erie County, polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The same hours apply for Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Orange and Rockland Counties.  These will also be the same hours for all of New York City. 

Elsewhere in New York State, polls will be open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Common Primary Day Questions: 

Where do I vote?: 

  • The State Board of Elections is offering a free resource to determine your exact voting location. To double-check your polling place, click here.

Who can vote on Primary Day?: 

  • New York has a closed primary. That means only voters registered as either a Republican or Democrat are allowed to vote for that party's specific candidates. 
  • Your party affiliation last October will determine which party you can vote for, unless you registered for the first time after October.
  • Polling sites do not allow paraphernalia for candidates. They ask you leave your political t-shirts and pins at home. A poll inspector may ask you to remove or cover any item that supports a particular candidate.

Who do I contact for voting problems?: 

  • Primary voters can report any issues or problems at the polls through a new hotline established by the State Attorney General's Office. The number is 800-771-7755. You can also email civil.rights@ag.ny.gov. To access the AG's website, click here.

What do the ballots looks like?:

The Democratic and GOP ballots are very different. The video above looks at both ballot options.

Sample Democratic ballot

  • You'll vote not only for the candidate, but also the actual delegates.
  • The number and names of delegates listed will vary based on the district in which you are voting.
  • The delegates for each candidate will be in the same row as the candidate they support. You can choose to vote for all the delegates of the same candidate, or delegates for both candidates.

Sample GOP ballot

  • Ben Carson will be on the ballot, despite dropping out of the race.