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What to Expect

What to expect at your poll site

Check in, mark your ballot, then scan your ballot! Ask for help if you need it.

Ranked Choice Voting: NYC now uses Ranked Choice Voting in primary and special elections for local offices. You can rank up to 5 candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one. Learn more here.

When you get to your poll site:

1 | Check In

  • Go to your designated poll site and find the correct table for your Assembly District/Election District (You can look up your info here.)
  • Sign in and get your paper ballot from the poll worker.
  • Ask for help if you need it!

Check In

2 | Mark Both Sides of Your Ballot

  • Mark your ballot by completely darkening the oval next to your choice using the pen provided.
  • Do NOT use an “x” or a “✓”, circle the oval, or make stray marks on the ballot.
  • For a write-in candidate, fill in the appropriate oval and write in the candidate’s name.
  • Do NOT fold your ballot. Do NOT sign or write your name on your ballot.

Mark Both Sides of Your Ballot

3 | Scan Your Ballot

  • Carry your marked ballot in the privacy sleeve to the scanner area.
  • Insert your marked ballot into the scanner, which will notify you when your vote has been cast.
  • Put on your “I Voted” sticker!

Scan Your Ballot

Voters with disabilities can request to use a Ballot Marking Device (BMD) for additional support.

The BMD provides two ways for voters to access the ballot:

  1. See the ballot on the display screen
  2. Listen to the ballot through audio headphones


The BMD provides four ways for voters to mark the ballot:

  1. Touch Screen
  2. Key Pad (Braille)
  3. Sip & Puff Device
  4. Rocker Paddle

Follow these steps to mark your ballot using the BMD:

  • Decide how you will access and mark the ballot.
  • Insert your ballot into the feed tray.
  • Select your preferred language.
  • The BMD will guide you through the process of making your choices and reviewing your selections.
  • To change a selection, select the contest or issue you would like to change and reselect the proper choice. Select “NEXT” to return to the summary screen.
  • Selection “Mark Ballot” to print your marked ballot.
  • Take your printed ballot and voter card to the scanner area.
  • If you would like assistance inserting your ballot into the scanner, a poll worker will assist you.

Problems and Solutions

I made a mistake marking my ballot.
Ask a poll worker for a new ballot. You can request up to 3 ballots total.

I “overvoted” (filled in too many ovals for a contest).
If you overvote, your vote for that office or ballot proposal will not be counted. If you insert a ballot with an overvote into the scanner, the display screen will show an error message. Select “Don’t Cast – Return Ballot,” and the scanner will return your ballot. You can always ask a poll worker for a new ballot if you make a mistake.

The text is too small; I can’t read my paper ballot.
There will be a magnifying sheet available. You can also ask to use a Ballot Marking Device (BMD).