2020 Census Update: Early Voting and Response Rates
Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020. With early voting occurring in more than 40 states across the U.S.A, more than 20 million voters have already cast their ballots. For New Yorkers, in-person early voting will begin on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020 and run through Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020.
The Westchester County Board of Elections is encouraging early voting at 17 locations, in-person or by absentee ballot. Before heading to an early voting site, confirm you are registered to vote by visiting http:voterlookup.elections.ny.gov. Once confirmed, find a site and its operating hours by visiting https://citizenparticipation.westchestergov. com/voting/early-voting-2020.
If you plan to vote with an absentee ballot, you must submit an absentee ballot application, which can be found online (https://citizenparticipation.westchestergov.com/ voting/absentee-ballots), in English and Spanish. An application may also be requested from the Westchester County Board of Elections by email (boe-westabsentee @westchestergov.com), phone (914-995-5285 or 5291), or fax (914-995-7753 or 3190). Voters requesting an absentee ballot application by mail should do so at least fifteen (15) days before Election Day. Absentee ballots will be mailed after the application has been received by the Board of Elections, which is located at 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601.
Voters can drop off their completed absentee ballot at the Board of Elections and any early voting location, between October 24th - November 1st; and at polling locations on Election Day. By dropping off their absentee ballot, voters can avoid waiting in line and the need for a stamp. Completed absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by November 3, 2020 and received by the Board of Elections by November 10th. Absentee ballots should be mailed at least seven (7) days before Election Day.
Voting in-person on Election Day remains intact. However, data collection for Census 2020 has concluded. A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed the U.S. Department of Commerce to end the door-knocking phase of Census 2020 on October 15th, rather than October 31st.
Due to the shortened data collection timeframe, it is likely that residents in hard-to-count communities will be disenfranchised throughout the next decade. Failing to be counted can have negative consequences because census data is used to shape congressional representation and how billions of federal dollars are distributed for healthcare, education, public safety, and other local programs.
More than the majority of Westchester County’s residents were counted. They contributed to an overall Census 2020 Response Rate (69.2%) that exceeded 2010 (67.9%) and 2000 (68%) Response Rates.
Even though the window for participating in Census 2020 has closed, the window to vote early will soon open. Make a plan and VOTE!