Courtesy Gianaris' office
State Senator Michael Gianaris is spreading the word to his constituents that early voting gets under way for the first time in New York beginning Saturday.

New Yorkers will be able to take advantage of early voting for the first time beginning Saturday, Oct. 26, thanks to legislation passed earlier this year. State Senator Michael Gianaris is spreading the word to his constituents.

Gianaris’ office is sending out mailers this week informing voters of the locations and times where polling sites will be open for nine days prior to Election Day on Nov. 5.

Voters must use their site as assigned by the Board of Elections. Assigned sites, as well as early voting hours, are also available on the Board of Elections website.

“At a time when voters rights are under assault, we must fight for our democracy because there’s nothing more important than the right to vote,” Gianaris said. “Our new Senate Majority made voter registration easier and access to the ballot box fairer.”

Gianaris sponsored the early voting legislation. Initially, only seven sites were planned for Queens until Gianaris pushed the city’s Board of Election to expand early voting sites. These sites will now be located at Rochdale Village Community Center in Jamaica, Korean Community Services in Bayside, the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, the York College Academic Core Building in Jamaica, LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, the First Baptist Church of East Elmhurst, Holy Trinity Parish Church in Cambria Heights, the Board of Elections-Queens Voting Machine Facility Annex in Middle Village, Resorts World Casino in Jamaica, the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, the Arverne YMCA, the Cross Island YMCA in Bellerose, the Al Oerter Recreation Center and the New York Hall of Science both in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

“I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote by using the tools we passed this year,” Gianaris said.

Among other voter reforms that were passed by the Senate and enacted into law include voter preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds, three hours of paid time off to vote. Time off may be completed at the beginning or end of a working shift, as employers may designate, unless otherwise mutually agreed.

Employers must be notified at least two days in advance. The Senate also began the process to amend the state constitution allowing for same-day voter registration and vote by mail.

Voters will cast their ballots in the Queens District Attorney race, the Public Advocate race, judges and the City Charter Revision Ballot Proposals on Elections, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, Ethics and Government, the City Budget and Land Use.

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