It’s the election before the election. In primary elections, you decide which candidate will be your party’s nominee for the general election. You must be a member of a political party to vote in a primary.
General elections are the championship match, where candidates from different parties compete to win elected office. Winners of primary elections represent their party in the general election. General elections sometimes include ballot proposals, where voters choose whether to adopt new laws or policies.
Right here! To learn more about the candidates on your ballot, just click on “Meet the Candidates” in the navigation up top. You can enter in your address to find which offices will be on your ballot, and a list of candidates running for each office. You can also find profiles submitted by candidates, including videos and more.
You can rank up to five candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one. If a candidate receives more than 50% of 1st-choice votes, they are the winner. If no candidate earns more than 50% of 1st-choice votes, then counting will continue in rounds. At the end of each round, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated. If you ranked that candidate 1st, your vote will go to the next highest ranked candidate on your ballot. This process will continue until there are two candidates left. The candidate with the most votes wins.
Yes! You can still vote for just your 1st- choice candidate. However, ranking other candidates does not harm your 1st choice. If your 1st and only choice is eliminated, your vote will have no influence on the outcome of the election. (You may hear folks call this an “exhausted ballot.”)
No. If you rank your preferred candidate more than once (for example as your 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th choice), then only your first ranking will count. There is no strategic benefit to giving the same candidate multiple rankings. It doesn’t help them, and it takes away your chance to have a say about who you’d choose next out of the remaining candidates (This is another way your ballot can get “exhausted”).
If you vote in person, the voting machine will let you know if you give multiple candidates the same ranking. If you make a mistake, you can ask a poll worker for a new ballot. However, the voting machine will not let you know if you skip rankings or rank the same candidate multiple times, since your top-choice vote will still count in those cases.
The NYC Board of Elections will share unofficial election results after polls close on Election Day. After they receive all absentee ballots, they will finish counting and release certified final results. You can find election results at the NYC Board of Elections website.
You can request an absentee ballot if you are away from New York City on Election Day, have an illness or physical disability, are a primary care provider for people who are ill or physically disabled, a resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital, or if you are imprisoned or awaiting trial. You can mark your reason on your absentee ballot request form.
If you requested an absentee ballot, then you should plan to vote with it. You can drop off your completed absentee ballot at any voting site while polls are open. However, if you choose to vote in person after requesting an absentee ballot, you will have to vote with an affidavit ballot at your poll site. This ballot will look different. Ask a poll worker for help if you need it.
Yes! You can drop off your completed absentee ballot at any NYC poll site. Ballot boxes will be available at the front desk. You can also drop off your ballot at any Board of Elections office. You do not need postage if you are dropping off your ballot.
Yes! The Board of Elections’ ballot tracker will let you know the status of your ballot after you submit a request. It will also let you know if they have received your completed ballot and whether it’s valid.
The Board of Elections is required by law to notify you if there is a curable error on your ballot envelope, such as a missing or incorrect signature. If there is a fixable error on your ballot, they will contact you by mail, email, and phone (if available) within 1 day of discovering the error. You will then have up to 7 days to correct the error by returning a signed affirmation.
Sounds strange, but it’s true! You can vote absentee in person at your borough’s Board of Elections office. Offices are open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday, and on the weekend prior to Election Day. This can be a helpful option if you miss the deadline to request a ballot online or by mail. On Election Day offices are open until 9pm.
Yes! If you are permanently ill or disabled and cannot get to your poll site, you can join the Board of Elections permanent absentee ballot list. To join, check the box marked “permanent illness or physical disability” on the absentee ballot application. The Board of Elections will automatically send you an absentee ballot application for every election you are qualified to vote in.
Yes! If you vote in person after requesting or submitting an absentee ballot, your absentee ballot is automatically disqualified. Only your in person vote will count. You do not need to bring your absentee ballot to your poll site.
Yes! You have the right to vote as long as you are a registered voter in line by the time polls close.
Early voting gives voters more flexibility, reduces wait times on Election Day, and eases the burden on poll workers, creating a more pleasant voting experience for everyone!
Early voting was signed into law by the Governor in 2019. It had bipartisan support in the State Senate and Assembly.
You must vote at your assigned poll site on Election Day.
Yes! If you vote in person after requesting or submitting an absentee ballot, your absentee ballot is automatically disqualified. Only your in person vote will count. You do not need to bring your absentee ballot to your poll site.
Maybe, but don’t be surprised if we have to wait a few weeks. The Board of Elections can receive absentee ballots until seven days after Election Day, so the results of some races may not be known until all ballots have been received.
Registering to Vote
You are eligible to register to vote if you are:
a U.S. citizen
a New York City resident for at least 30 days
at least 16 years old (you can pre-register to vote at 16 or 17, but you must be 18 to vote)
If you do not have a New York State ID, you can complete a voter registration form and mail it to the Board of Elections. You can also visit your Borough Board of Elections office to register in person.
If you don’t have a New York State ID or a printer, you can digitally fill out a form with TurboVote and have them print and mail it to you, so you can sign and return to the Board of Elections. The platform also works on mobile, so you don’t even need a computer.
Yes! When you move, you should change your address with the Board of Elections by submitting a new voter registration form. Complete the section labeled “Voting information that has changed” by entering your old address. If you would like to become a member of a political party, or remain a member of your current political party, make sure to select your political party on your registration. In order to vote in the June 27 election, your change of address must be received by the Board of Elections by June 12.
No. You do not have to join a political party when you register to vote. However, only members of political parties are eligible to vote in primary elections. So if you’d like to vote in primary elections for a particular party, you should join that party when you register.
Yes! You have the right to take two paid hours off from work at the beginning or end of your shift if polls are open for less than 4 hours before your shift starts and after it ends. That means on Election Day, you can take paid time off if you are scheduled to start work before 10am and end work after 5pm. You must notify your employer at least two days before you plan to vote.
Yes! If you are experiencing homelessness, you can register and vote in New York City. You must include a mailing address where the BOE can send you notices on your registration form.
Ballot Marking Devices are available at all poll sites to help voters fill out their ballots during early voting and on Election Day. These devices can be helpful to voters who are blind, visually impaired, or have a disability or condition that make it difficult or impossible to mark a ballot with a pen. However, any voter can request to use a Ballot Marking Device.
You can use a Ballot Marking Device to see your ballot on a display screen, listen to your choices through headphones, or translate your ballot into additional languages. If you’d like to use a Ballot Marking Device, just ask a poll worker!
The device provides four ways to mark your ballot:
Yes! If you are visually impaired or have a disability that requires you to use an accessible version of the absentee ballot that can be read by a screen reader and marked digitally, you may request an accessible ballot from the NYC Board of Elections.
Yes! The NYC Board of Elections ensures that every poll site in the city is accessible to all voters during early voting and Election Day. If there are any issues with your poll site, you can contact the Board of Elections at 1-866-Vote-NYC (212-487-5496).
Yes, as long as they are not also your employer or union representative. Some poll sites have materials in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali. The languages available at your poll site are based on local Census data.
In addition, interpreters are available at some poll sites to provide assistance in these languages and others, such as Arabic, Haitian Creole, Russian, and Yiddish. You can learn which poll sites offer translators in each language at the Civic Engagement Commission’s website.
It depends on where you live. By law, New York City ballots and other voting materials are translated into Bengali, Chinese, Korean, and Spanish at certain poll sites based on local Census data.
No, contributions to political campaigns are not tax deductible, whether they are made online or in person.
You are not required to create a Contribute account to contribute to campaigns. You can create an account if you would like to save your personal and credit card information to simplify the process of contributing to a campaign in the future. If you would like to create an account, go to contribute.nycvotes.org/signup, and select the “For Contributors” tab.
If you are a New York City resident and you do not have business dealings with the city, your contribution may be eligible to be matched at an $8-to-$1 rate. That means that a $10 contribution from a NYC resident to a participating candidate could be worth as much as $90 to their campaign. It is the campaign’s responsibility to report your contribution correctly and claim it for matching funds.
Candidates running for local New York City office have the option of using Contribute as their online fundraising platform. When you donate on Contribute, your contribution is sent directly to the campaign’s bank account via the site’s third-party credit card processor, Stripe. Stripe charges the campaign a nominal and standard fee (2.9% + $0.30) for each contribution.
In accordance with the Campaign Finance Board Rules, campaigns are required to report each contributor’s full name, residential address, occupation, employer, and business address. The following information will be publicly disclosed in the Campaign Finance Board’s Follow the Money Database:
The contributor’s full name.
The city, state and zip code of the contributor’s residential address.
The contributor’s occupation and employer.
The amount, date, and form (cash, check, credit card, etc.) of the contributor’s contribution.
No. To reduce the risk of campaigns accepting over-the-limit contributions, Contribute does not allow for recurring contributions.
The CFB does not charge campaigns to use Contribute. Stripe, the credit card processor Contribute uses to direct funds to your bank account, charges a nominal and standard fee (2.9% + $0.30) for each contribution. Stripe will deduct the fee from each contribution prior to funds being deposited into your committee’s bank account.
If you had a Contribute account in a previous election cycle, you can simply log in using your existing email and password, then you will be prompted to connect to a Stripe account. If you ran in a previous election, you cannot reuse an old Stripe account. After logging into your Contribute account, you must create a new Stripe account by using an email address that is easily accessible by the candidate, treasurer, and anyone else monitoring your Contribute account, as time-sensitive emails may be sent by Stripe to this email address.
1. Sign up at contribute.nycvotes.org/signup After registering with the CFB, your campaign will have access to Contribute. To create your account, go to contribute.nycvotes.org/signup.
2. Create your password Click the For Candidates tab and enter the email address listed on your CFB registration and a unique password. Only candidates and treasurers are eligible to have a Contribute account.
Best practice: Both the candidate and treasurer should create their own Contribute accounts to receive important communications from Contribute@nyccfb.info.
3. Agree to the affirmation statement Review the affirmation statement and click I Agree.
4. Activate your account and connect with Stripe You will receive an email, which will prompt you to activate your Contribute account. You must then connect your Contribute account with Stripe, the credit card processor Contribute uses to direct funds to your bank account. Candidates who have run in the past must create a new Stripe account for each election.
After logging into your Contribute account, click the Connect with Stripe button.
After clicking Connect with Stripe, you will be directed to a registration form to create a Stripe account. Your Stripe account is separate from your Contribute account and will be used to process contributions made to your campaign on Contribute to your campaign’s bank account. Some of the information you will need to enter in the registration form includes:
Business Details: Enter your committee’s information in this section. You will need to complete fields such as:
Type of business: Select “Nonprofit Organization”
Legal business name: Enter the committee’s name (as disclosed to the IRS and CFB)
Business website: If your committee does not have a website, you can use contribute.nycvotes.org for this field
Business description: Select “Political Organization”
How long after paying will customers typically receive their goods or services?: Select “Within One Day”
Executive Details: The campaign’s Stripe account should be created by the candidate (strongly recommended), treasurer, or another campaign representative with significant managerial control. The individual who creates the account will be the Stripe account holder and will need to provide personal identifying information. (For example, home address and the last four digits of Social Security Number.)
Credit Card Statement Details: In this section, you will be able to customize how contributions made to your campaign will appear on your contributors’ bank statements.
Statement descriptor: This is the “business name” that will appear on your contributors’ bank statement. You should use the committee’s name to avoid disputes over unrecognized transactions.
Support phone number: Enter a phone number that can be used to contact you and your campaign.
Customer support address: Use the committee’s address.
Bank Details: Enter your committee’s bank account number and routing number to set up transfers for contributions received. You must use the same bank account on file with the CFB.
Two-Step Authentication: Choose one of Stripe’s security methods to protect your account.
Save your Stripe account: Create your login credentials for your Stripe dashboard. Use these credentials to log in directly at www.stripe.com. You can choose to use the same email address linked to your Contribute account, but it is not necessary.
Click the Authorize access to this account button to complete the registration form for Stripe.
5. Receive Contribute link After creating your Stripe account, you will receive an email that confirms that your Contribute account has been connected to Stripe, and that contains your unique Contribute link. This link can be used for promotional materials, campaign flyers and mailings, and social media posts.
Once you have connected your Contribute account with Stripe, your campaign can begin receiving contributions.
Best practice: Have the candidate or treasurer make a small test contribution (which may be matchable) and upload it to C-SMART.
Transfers will occur daily and consist of contributions received two business days prior. Your first transfer may take up to one week to process. You will receive a monthly Stripe account statement from Contribute, which shows the contributions received for the month as well as the month’s total of Stripe processing fees deducted from your contributions.
You can confirm your payout schedule and estimated payout timing in your Stripe Dashboard.
After receiving contributions, you must upload your credit card contribution data and documentation directly into C-SMART. You must perform the upload for contributions to appear in C-SMART; otherwise, your disclosure statement will not include contributions received via Contribute and you will lose the opportunity to claim any eligible contributions for matching funds.
IMPORTANT: Do not manually enter C-SMART contributions received via Contribute. If you notice that a contribution is not uploading correctly into C-SMART, contact your Candidate Services liaison.
1. Sign in to your campaign’s Contribute account Go to contribute.nycvotes.org/login and enter your CFB-registered email address and Contribute password.
2. Enter your C-SMART encryption key When you log in, you will be automatically directed to the Data section of your account page. Contributions received via Fundraising Events will be included in the total number of contributions that appear under this alert. To upload data from Contribute, enter your C-SMART encryption key in the Encryption Key field and click Upload. Contribute will alert you if you have any contributions that have not been uploaded to C-SMART. You will be able to use the upload function only if there are contributions that have not yet been uploaded to C-SMART.
1. Review each contribution in C-SMART Review the Contribute Upload Report in C-SMART to ensure that each contribution was uploaded. For more information on how to access and use this report, review Reports in C-SMART Help. You should also compare the total number of contributions on the C-SMART report to the total number displayed in the Contribute Activity Report, which can be accessed through your Contribute account page. In C-SMART, you can review the backup documentation for each contribution uploaded by Contribute. For more information on viewing this documentation, in Monetary Contribution Documentation in C-SMART Help.
2. Merge duplicate name records Uploads from Contribute to C-SMART might create duplicate name records for your contributors in your C-SMART database. This will occur when a name record already exists in C-SMART for someone who donates through Contribute. To ensure accurate disclosure and prevent over-the-limit contributions, you must merge any duplicate name records after each upload. For instructions, see Merge Duplicate Names in C-SMART Help.
3. Check for over-the-limit-contributions Review your contributions for any over-the-limit contributions. The easiest way to do this is to generate the Contributions Over the Limit report in C-SMART, which will list all contributions for a contributor whose total contributions have exceeded the contribution limit for the office sought.
4. Claim eligible contributions for matching funds Contributions from Contribute are not automatically claimed for match. After each upload, you must enter a matching amount for eligible contributions received through Contribute. For more information on how to edit contributions to claim them for matching funds, seeMonetary Contributions in C-SMART Help
Use the Contribute Upload Report in C-SMART to assist you when claiming contributions from Contribute for match. The report contains each contribution’s C-SMART transaction ID and the matching amount. Additionally, the report includes an indicator that tells you whether the matching amount has been updated.
In addition to contributions, you can upload monthly Stripe processing fees directly to C-SMART from your Contribute account page. The fees available to upload will be based on the amount reflected on your monthly account statements, which are emailed to your campaign on the 10th day of each month, and cover activity for the preceding month.
When you log into your Contribute account, you will be automatically directed to the Data section of your account page. To upload Stripe fees, enter your C-SMART encryption key in the Encryption Key field and click Upload.
Note: If there were no contributions received for a given month, there will be no Stripe fees available to upload for that month.
Upon your first upload of Stripe fees to C-SMART, a new name record will be created for Stripe in C-SMART to report the lump sum amount of fees deducted for the month. In C-SMART, you can search for “Stripe – NYC Votes Contribute” to review your newly-uploaded Stripe fees. The amount of fees deducted for the month will be reported as bill and bill payment transactions in C-SMART.
A fundraiser is an event that is organized and sponsored by your campaign. For each fundraiser held by your campaign, you must disclose the following information to the CFB:
Date of the event
Location of the event
List of all contributions received at the event
Any persons or organization(s) other than the campaign hosting the event
Itemized list of all expenditures related to the event, whether the campaign or another host paid for them
You can create distinct contribution pages on Contribute for fundraisers organized by your campaign. This will allow you to accept contributions for those fundraisers and simplify the reporting of the event’s name, location, date, and contributions received.
1. View events and create a new event From the Fundraising Events tab you can create, view, and manage upcoming and past events.
2. Enter event details Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*); Venue Name and Start and End Time are optional fields.
3. Share event page with supporters After successfully creating an event, you will be directed to the Share tab found in the event’s administrative page. From here, you will find links to the event page, social media tools to share through different platforms, and HTML codes that can be used to embed the event page on your campaign’s website, emails, and social media pages. The Status of the event will now be Open, meaning contributions can now be collected for this event.
IMPORTANT: After an event has occurred, it should be closed to stop new contributions from being made. From the Edit tab in the event’s administrative page, select Close Event. All contributions received via the Fundraising Event feature must be reported to the CFB within the disclosure period in which the event occurred.
1. Edit event If you would like to make changes to an event, from the event’s administrative page select the Edit tab.
From the Edit tab you can update event details and close, open, or delete the event. Deleting an event is only possible if no contributions have been made for that event. This action cannot be undone.
You will receive an email for any modifications made to your event. If event details are modified after the event has been uploaded to C-SMART, use the details in this email to make the necessary changes to the event in C-SMART.
If you accidentally close an event before it has occurred, the event can be re-opened. Contact your Candidate Services liaison if you need to re-open an event.
To customize the contribution amounts for your event page, return to your main Contribute account page and update the amounts found under the Custom Amount Tool in the Tools tab.
Note: Updating the contribution amounts in this section will change the default amounts across all your campaign’s Contribute pages, including all open event pages
2. Manage and view events Return to the Fundraising Events tab to view your events. Events can be sorted by Event Date and Time, Event Name, Status, and Total Contributions by clicking on each header.
Click on the gear icon and select View from the drop-down options to view the event page that will be shared with contributors. To return to the event’s administrative page, click the hyperlinked event name or click the gear icon and select Edit.
3. Review fundraising events and contributions From the Contributions tab on the event’s administrative page, individual contributions can be sorted by Date and Time received, Name of contributor, and Amount contributed. From this page, you can also export the list of contributions received through this event page as a CSV file.
Like any other contribution received through Contribute, contributions made to events must be reported within the same disclosure period in which they are received and uploaded directly to C-SMART. Contributions made to events must also be claimed for match like any other eligible contribution.
Note: As with other contributions received in Contribute, Stripe processing fees are deducted from contributions received through fundraising event pages.
From the Data tab of your account page, click Email Contribute Activity Report. You will receive an email with a spreadsheet containing your Contribute financial activity to date.
For prohibited contributions (e.g. corporate or over-the-limit contributions), refunds can be issued via Stripe, certified or bank check, or ACH transfer.
When refunding a prohibited contribution via Stripe, remember that to be considered resolved, the refund cannot be pending and must have cleared your campaign bank account. From your Stripe Dashboard:
Find the contribution to be refunded in the Payments overview page.
Click the ••• icon to the right of the charge and select Refund charge.
Enter the amount to be refunded. The default is a full refund. For a partial refund, enter a different amount to be refunded.
Select a reason for the refund. If you select Other, you must provide an explanatory note that is attached to the refund. Note: the reason entered is for your campaign and Stripe’s records only and is not shared with the CFB.
To document the refund in C-SMART, once it has cleared your bank account:
While in Stripe, under “Payments - Refunded”, search for your contributor by first name, last name.
Identify the specific contribution that was refunded. Click directly on that contribution to open the refund details.
Save the entire refund details screen as a PDF by clicking “CTRL+P” and then instead of printing, select “Save as PDF.
In C-SMART, add the monetary contribution refund. You can enter “Stripe” as the Check Number.
Upload the entire PDF of your Stripe refund details as your refund documentation in C-SMART. For instructions, see Monetary Contribution Refund Documentation in C-SMART Help.
In the Tools tab of your account page, you will be able to set the contribution amounts that appear on your contribution pages, including those for fundraising events. You will also find the HTML code to embed your contribution page on your website, in your campaign emails, and on your social media pages.
Yes, you may accept contributions from U.S. citizens or permanent residents, even if they live outside of the United States. Only contributions from individual New York City residents are eligible to be matched with public funds.
Contribute helps by collecting the contributor information the CFB requires for compliance and disclosure purposes including employment information, “doing business” status, and the contribution affirmations required by law. Ultimately it is the campaign’s responsibility to ensure the required information for each contribution is accurately reported to the CFB.