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Voting in Tompkins County: What You Need to Know

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

This transcript is from Christopher Morales's segment on Talk of the Town: After Hours on Oct. 3.


We are closing in on the November 3rd General Election, but beyond the message “Go Vote,” voters should make a plan on how they will cast their ballot.

As a reminder, the registration deadline in New York State is October 9th. Those eligible to vote are U.S. citizens who meet their state’s residency requirements and are 18 years or older on or before Election Day. All voters are encouraged to double-check their registration.

With growing concerns over the Coronavirus, local election boards also provide early voting and vote-by-mail options.

First, voters can begin casting their ballot in-person through early voting beginning Saturday, October 24th through Sunday, November 1st. Hours vary across the days, but the two designated locations in Tompkins County for early voting will be the Town of Ithaca Town Hall and Crash Fire Rescue.

Voters with health concerns can request an absentee ballot. Following a bill signed by Governor Cuomo, voters should submit “temporary illness” as their reason. The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 27th, and the last day to postmark an absentee ballot is November 3rd. The United States Postal Office recommends acting at least 7 days before Election Day to ensure everything arrives on time. Moreover, avoid common mistakes on your absentee ballot such as improperly filling out your ballot, forgetting to sign your envelope, or using a signature different to the one on state record.

Finally, voters can vote in-person on November 3rd at polling places between 6am and 9pm. Masks will be required by voters and poll workers, and expect social distancing to be enforced. However, the State Board of Elections suggest polling places offer an isolated area for voters unable to wear masks.

voter puts their ballot in the mail

To learn more about registration deadlines, absentee ballot applications, early voting hours, and polling locations, visit


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