The 2022 midterm elections are officially happening on Tuesday, November 8—but early voting is now open all across New York State.
In this guide, we break down what you’ll actually be voting for and when you can expect results to be made public. Plus: how and where to vote, what time polls open and how to apply for an absentee ballot.
One thing to keep in mind before educating yourself: midterm elections are extremely important, directly affecting the way the President of the United States of America can carry out his mandate for the remaining two years he’ll stay in office and potentially even affecting who will run and win the highest office in the country come 2024—so don’t take Election Day lightly. Go vote.
What’s on the ballot for the midterm elections in New York?
Depending on where exactly in New York you are registered to vote, your ballot will look slightly different. Overall, though, all residents will be voting for members of the House of Representatives and members of the Senate, the governor and lieutenant governor positions, and for the comptroller and attorney general as well.
Use this website right here to look up a sample ballot based on where you are registered so that you could be informed about the issues you’re being asked to weigh in on and the candidates that are running before actually getting to the poll site.
House of Representatives and Senate voting explained
In total, 34 out of the 100 seats in the Senate are up for re-election. The winners will serve six-year terms.
As of this moment, the Senate is split down the middle in terms of party lines: 50 senators are Democrats and the other 50 are Republicans. However, Vice President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, can cast a tie-breaking vote.
New Yorkers will get to vote for a single Senate seat during the midterm election. Incumbent Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, is running against Republican Joe Pinion.
In contrast, all 435 seats within the House of Representatives are up for re-election and the winners will serve two-year terms. At this moment in time, 222 House of Representative seats are controlled by Democrats and 213 are taken up by Republicans.
In New York, all 26 House of Representative seats are up for grabs so folks around the state will vote for each one depending on where they are registered.
Governor and lieutenant governor voting explained
All New Yorkers will get to vote for governor during the midterm election. The race pits incumbent governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who took on the role following the resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 24, 2021, against Republican Lee Zeldin.
New Yorkers will also get to choose between incumbent lieutenant governor Antonio Delgado, a Democrat, and Republican nominee Alison Esposito.
Comptroller voting explained
As explained by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, the comptroller is “the state’s chief fiscal officer, who ensures that state and local governments use taxpayer money effectively and efficiently to promote the common good.” That means that the elected candidate is responsible for overseeing the fiscal affairs of the entire state, administering the state and local retirement system for public employees, reporting on finances and more.
Voters will have to choose between Democratic incumbent Thomas P. DiNapoli and his challenger from the Republican party, Paul Rodriguez.
Attorney general voting explained
The attorney general of New York is the chief legal officer of the state, basically advising the executive branch and defending actions on behalf of the state. To be clear, the attorney general is independent of the governor.
The current attorney general of New York is Democrat Letitia James, who is running as an incumbent against Republican Michael Henry.
Are there any other issues on the ballot that I should be aware of?
Yes. Depending on where you are registered, you may be asked to weigh in on three separate proposals while voting as well.
The first proposal concerns the city’s values. Specifically, it will ask you whether you’d like to add a preamble to the New York City charter establishing a set of values that aspire to “a just and equitable city for all” and asking the city to remedy “past and continuing harms and to reconstruct, revise, and reimagine our foundations, structures, institutions, and laws to promote justice and equity for all New Yorkers.”
The second “yes or no” question involves the potential foundation of an Office of Racial Equity and associated members that will coordinate the city’s racial equity planning process.
The third proposal, the Environmental Bond Act, would require New York to directly track the cost of living in the city based on essential needs (think housing, food, transportation and childcare) and without taking into account public or private assistance measures.
Where do I vote?
You can find your election day poll site on this website by simply inputting your name and last name, date of birth, zip code and county that you are registered in.
Alternatively, you can use this link to find your polling place based on your exact address and zip code.
The websites will also indicate where you can go for early voting—more on that below.
What times do the polls open in New York?
Generally speaking, polling places are open 6am to 9pm for primary and general Election Days. Early voting hours vary by site.
How do I know if I’m registered to vote in New York?
There are two ways to check whether you are registered or not. Either call 1-866-868-3692 or check online on this website, where you’ll be asked to input some personal information.
How can I register to vote?
There are some things to keep in mind if you’re looking to register as a voter in New York. First of all, you must be a citizen of the U.S. and a resident of New York and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election (given that the midterms are officially happening on November 8, a week from today, you will not be able to register in time this year).
You also must be at least 18 years old, not in prison for a felony conviction, not currently be judged mentally incompetent by a judicial authority and you may not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
If you match the above-mentioned criteria, you can fill out an electronic voting registration right here.
If you’re a New York City resident, you can also register by mail or in person by following these easy directions.
What documents do I need to bring along to vote?
You don’t need to bring any documents to the poll site. Specifically, registered voters do not need to show an ID unless they did not provide one when they first registered.
First-time voters who did not supply an ID with their registration will either have to show one at the poll or vote by affidavit ballot (not using the poll site scanner). Acceptable forms of ID on a voter registration application include a driver’s license, a non-driver’s ID or the last four digits of your social security number.
What if I can’t make it to my designated poll site?
If you can’t make it to vote in person by Election Day on November 8, you can vote via absentee ballot instead.
In New York state, all absentee ballots have to be returned by November 8. You could have requested one by mail or online by October 24 but you still have time to do so in person by November 7.
To vote by absentee ballot, you must be absent from your county on Election Day or be unable to appear at the polls because of an illness or disability. Other acceptable qualifications involve the inability to appear in person because a resident or a patient of a veterans hospital, in jail or prison for any reason other than a felony conviction or because you’re the primary caregiver of one or more individuals who are disabled.
To cast your absentee ballot, you must mark your choices following directions, fold up the document and place it in the security envelope that was provided to you, sign and date outside of said envelope and seal it. You’ll then place the security envelope inside the pre-paid return envelope that was sent to you, seal it and mail it out (no additional postage is required).
Fair warning: the letter cannot be postmarked later than November 8.
Can I vote early?
Every New York resident can opt to vote early. Beware, though, that your early voting poll site may not be the same as your Election Day destination. Find your early polling voting site using this website.
Early voting kicked off on October 29 and will run through November 6.
When will the 2022 midterm election results be announced?
It’s hard to say when, exactly, we’ll know the results of the 2022 midterm elections.
Back in 2018, the winners were announced the night the polls closed. That being said, in recent years, re-counts and absentee ballot calculations have been taking longer than expected.
We don’t foresee the results to take over a week but we wouldn’t be surprised if officials told us that they needed more time to properly count all votes.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.