YOUR VOTE IS YOUR VOICE!
In the Episcopal tradition, we promise at baptism to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” Part of this promise is to vote for the common good. At Trinity Church Wall Street, we vote for our neighbor so that all have decent housing, food, education, and income.
City Elections: When and What
Democratic and Republican primaries are June 22nd. The general election is November 2nd.
In 2021, New York City will elect a new Mayor, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, Comptroller, and District Attorneys for Manhattan and Brooklyn. Additionally, more than 2/3 of the City Council will be replaced – due to current members’ term limits.
Early voting for the primary starts on Saturday, June 12 and ends Sunday, June 20. Be sure to check your polling site as it may be different from your regular site.
A New Way to Vote
This year, New York City is introducing “Rank Choice Voting.” This allows voters to rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference. Learn more and get ready to rank your choices. Check your registration, find out if you are eligible to vote or register here.
What is on the Line?
In 2020 the pandemic, protests against racial violence and political unrest challenged virtually every aspect of life in New York City. In 2021, New Yorkers will discern how these challenges will be met by deciding who will lead the city. This is especially important for our most vulnerable neighbors who are impacted by the housing and eviction crisis, mass incarceration, food insecurity, and access to public education. [You can hear more about these issues in a recent conversation between Trinity's Priest-in-charge, the Rev. Phillip Jackson, and Errol Louis, political analyst and host of "Inside City Hall" on New York 1.]
It is crucial to ask candidates where they stand on supporting those who are suffering. As a community of faith, Trinity is working on issues related to homeless and housing, racial justice, and mass incarceration. We invite you to join us as we advocate for our neighbors and ask those running for public office these questions:
- Many New Yorkers have been significantly impacted economically by the pandemic and are behind in rent. A recent survey released by the Community Housing Improvement Program, reported on by various news outlets, estimates that New York City residents owe more than $1 billion in rent as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. How would you help households who are struggling?
- Last year we saw a lot of community opposition to hotels turned into shelters that were being used as a way to temporarily decrease the density in specific shelter buildings. The example we heard about the most was the Lucerne Hotel in the Upper West Side. How would you work with the community to support the people housed in hotels as shelters?
- About one in ten New York City public school students is experiencing homelessness, and this rate has remained stubbornly similar for several years. What are your plans to reverse this and help our city’s children?
- We are hearing about a rise in violence, including gun violence, in various parts of the city. What do you see as the cause and how would you address it?
- Black and brown students are disproportionately represented in school-based arrests and summons, which push them into the school-to-prison pipeline. What are your plans to lower the number of children being arrested?
- When people are released from Rikers, they often have little to no support to restart their lives. People are frequently released without proper identification—or even a place to go. This leads to many being trapped in a preventable cycle of homelessness and reincarceration. What are your plans to help end this cycle specifically? What policies could be put in place?
The last day to register to vote is Friday, May 28. Learn more about making your own voter plan in New York State:
Check Your Registration Status
- Are you currently registered to vote? Verify that the Board of Elections has your current registration status and address here.
- Confirm you meet the requirements to register to vote.
- Military or overseas voting has special registration deadlines and absentee ballot information.
- Citizens who do not have a permanent home still may be eligible to vote.
- Misdemeanor and violation convictions do not prevent voting even if serving time in jail. For information on voting rights of New Yorkers with felony convictions who are currently incarcerated or on parole, click here. Citizens convicted of a felony and released from prison can vote.
Register to Vote
There are several ways to register:
If you have a New York State issued I.D. (Driver License, Permit, or Non-Driver I.D.) you can submit your voter registration application online.
If you do not have a state-issued I.D., you can print or request a voter registration application or call 1-800-FOR-VOTE to request a voter registration application by mail.
Updating your voter status:
- Contact your County Board of Elections if you haven't received a response to your voter registration application.
- You can update your address or change your political party enrollment by completing a new voter registration form.
- Visit Nonprofit Vote for information on voting outside of New York State or how to register in another state.
Making Your Voting Action Plan
In New York State, all voters have choices in how to vote. You may vote in person on Election Day, vote early in the days before the election, or vote by absentee ballot. Because of COVID-19, all voters are entitled to cast an absentee ballot.
- Vote Early: A safe and easy way to vote in person is to cast your ballot during the early voting period for the primary and the general election. Your early voting polling place may be different than your regular location. Check before you go.
- Vote Absentee: Request an absentee ballot as soon as possible. Learn more about requesting and filling out your ballot through the League of Women Voters or VoteEarlyNY.org. Solicitud de balota para voto en ausencia del estado de Nueva York.
- Vote on Primary Day and Election Day: The polls will be open in New York State from 6 am to 9 pm. Find your polling place.
- For answers to commonly asked questions, please visit the New York State Board of Elections frequently asked questions, and the Board of Elections in New York City frequently asked questions.
- Call the League of Women Voters of New York City hotline at 212.725.3541 for personalized assistance.
- Learn more about voting laws outside of New York State.
Once you have registered and planned your voting strategy, research who will be on your ballot. While the Presidential election generates the most attention, local and state elections are also highly consequential. Use this tool to see who will appear on your ballot and research the candidates so you can make an informed vote.
We must continue to monitor any restrictions on the right to vote and insist on fairly conducted elections. Our democracy requires our participation through exercising our right to vote and our diligence in expanding and maintaining that right for all.