Get Ready to Vote!

What is a public advocate?

A public advocate is an elected official who serves as a connector between the public and the city government. Whoever is elected to this position represents the interests of New Yorkers by reviewing and investigating complaints about city services. The public advocate is also the second highest ranking official after the mayor. If the mayor is no longer able to carry out the duties of the office, the public advocate is the first in line to take over as mayor.

Why is there a special election in February for a public advocate?

The special election is being held this February to fill this position that has recently been vacated. This is due to the previous public advocate Letitia James assuming her position as New York Attorney General on January 1st.

How is this election different?

One major difference in this election is that it is nonpartisan, as it is with all special city elections. None of the candidates will appear as Democrat or Republican, nor any other political party. Whoever is elected will hold office only for a few months. A primary and a general election will be held in the fall of this year to determine the candidate who will have this position for the full four-year term.  

Melissa Mark-Viverito 

Fix the MTA

Dawn Smalls

No More Delays

Danny O’Donnell 

Equality For All


Rafael Espinal 

Livable City

Michael Blake 

For the People

Eric Ulrich 

Common Sense

Latrice Walker 

People For Walker

Jumaane Williams 

The People’s Voice

Ron Kim 

People Over Corporations

Gary Popkin


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Ydanis Rodriguez 

United for Immigrants

Benjamin Yee

Community Empowerment

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’m out of the state the day of the election or I can’t make it to the polls? Can I still vote?

Most states have early voting which allows voters on certain days to vote before Election Day. In states that do not have early voting, you can obtain an absentee ballot.

What is an absentee ballot and how can I vote with it?

An absentee ballot is a “mail-in” ballot. It is a ballot that you can send through mail if you are not present on Election Day to cast your vote in person. For many states, an absentee ballot is available online to be filled out, printed and sent. Rules on who is eligible to obtain an absentee ballot vary by state. Check with your local board of elections to see if you meet the requirements of voting through an absentee ballot.

What if my name is not on the list of voters the day of the election?

If you are a registered voter and your name does not appear on the list of voters, first verify that you are in the correct polling site and the correct table. If it is established that you are in the right polling site, it is required by law for you to be given a provisional/affidavit ballot. After the election, your vote is counted if it is verified that a mistake has been made and that you are a registered voter.

Can I go to any polling site to vote?

No. Your Board Of Elections specifically assigns a polling site according to your address of residence. Your polling site is usually very close to where you live.

Do I have to re-register for every election?

No, you do not. You only have to re-register when you have moved to a different address, to change your political party, to change your name, or if you haven’t voted in the last four years. There is a section on the form where you can fill out if any voting information has changed.

Can I just put in my P.O. Box information when I fill out a voter registration?

No. You have to put your address of residence or your registration will not be valid. The Board of Elections will assign a polling site based on your address.

When I register to vote, do I have to choose a political party?

No. You have the option not to enroll in a political party when you are filling out a registration form. However, to vote in certain elections you must be enrolled in a political party.

Can I choose more than one political party?

No. You can only select one political party. If you would like to change your political party, you must re-register.

Is it required to have my voter card with me to vote?

No, it is not. The purpose of the voter card is to verify that you are a registered voter and also states where your polling site is located. What you have to bring with you on Election Day varies by state. Check with your local board of elections.

It has been several weeks and I have not received my voter card. Does this mean I am not registered?

Not necessarily. Call your local board of elections to inquire about your voter card and to make sure that your registration has been processed successfully.

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