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Know Your Rights

Plan your work schedule to ensure time to vote. Under New York State law, all voters registered to vote in New York State are entitled to sufficient leave time on Election Day so that they are able to vote. The law considers four consecutive hours between the hours of 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM (when the polls are open in New York State) to be sufficient time to vote, either at the beginning of your shift or after the end of your shift.  If you will not have four hours in which to vote either before or after your shift, you are entitled to leave under the law so that you have a four-hour window to vote. For example, if your shift is scheduled from 7:00 AM-7:30 PM, you are entitled to leave at either the beginning or end of your shift so that you are able to vote. If your employer grants leave at the beginning of your shift, your leave would be from 7:00 AM through 10:00 AM so that you have the opportunity to vote between 6:00 - 10:00 AM. You must provide notice to your employer at least two working days, but not more than ten working days, prior to the election that you will need leave. Your employer may designate whether the leave will be at the beginning or end of your shift. Under New York State law, you are entitled to pay for at least two hours of leave time to vote. Under many of our collective bargaining agreements, you may be entitled to be paid for all of this leave time. Check your contract for more details about how to secure your voting rights.

If you wish to volunteer for a political campaign or as a poll worker, you can request time off from your employer through the usual process.

If you qualify to vote by absentee ballot, here’s how to apply and cast an absentee ballot.

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