The time has finally come—today is Election Day in New York City. The biggest race this year is undoubtedly the mayoral election, with Democratic incumbent Bill de Blasio fighting several other candidates for his seat (though at press time, he had a comfortable lead in the race).
But there are a plethora of local races that New Yorkers should care about, too—more than half of the 51 members of the New York City Council, for instance, are seeking re-election, as are borough presidents, assembly members, judges, and more. (Not sure what all of those folks do? We’ve got you covered.)
Of course, before the results come in, New Yorkers have to actually get out and vote—and here, you’ll find everything you need to know about voting on November 7, from when polls are open to what not to do in the voting booth.
When to vote
Polls open at 6 a.m. and will remain open until 9 p.m. And yes, you’re guaranteed the right to take time from work to vote—New York state law states that workers who cannot take time outside of work hours to vote may take up to two hours to visit their local polling spot. (It also can’t hurt to familiarize yourself with the NYC voters’ bill of rights beforehand.)
Where to vote
If you’re unsure of where your polling place is located, fret not: the website Voting.NYC has a handy tool that lets you input your address to find the location of your polling site.
The NYC Campaign Finance Board has more information on your rights as a voter, should you need a crash course on what to do if, say, you’re not listed on the voting rolls at your polling place. (Spoiler: you’re still allowed to vote.)
Who’s running for mayor?
The big focus has been on the mayoral election and the two major-party candidates: incumbent mayor Bill de Blasio (who’s running on the Democratic ticket, as well as the Working Families Party), and Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis, an assemblywoman from Staten Island (update: she’s also running on the Conservative ticket). Other third-party candidates include Akeem Browder, running for the Green Party; Sal Albanese, running for the Reform Party; and Bo Dietl, running for the, um, Dump the Mayor Party.
What else is at stake?
Many, many local elected officials—from the Public Advocate to City Council members—are facing re-election this year.
City Limits has been keeping a running list of who’s who in these races; here’s their guide to City Council candidates; a list of candidates for Public Advocate and Comptroller; and candidates for Borough President (every single one is up for re-election) and District Attorney.
Voters will also be asked to decide on whether or not the state should hold a constitutional convention (aka a “con-con”). If you’re unsure how to vote on that position, as well as the two other ballot questions this year, here’s an explainer from some ex-Gothamist staffers about the pros and cons.
What to do with your phone while you’re voting
Put it away! As ridiculous as this particular rule may seem, it is a rule nonetheless: selfies in the ballot booth are verboten. Save the selfie for later, once you’ve gotten your cool "I voted!" sticker and won’t run afoul of the law.