Election Day isn’t until Nov. 5, but for the first time, voters in New York will be permitted to head to the polls ahead of time for early voting.
The state Legislature passed a law in January to provide voters with nine days of early voting. This year, early voting will begin Oct. 26, and run through Nov. 3.
In Suffolk County, residents who wish to vote early must do so within the town where they live.
Each of the 10 towns has allocated one early voting location for residents to use.
At a Town Board meeting last Wednesday, Riverhead officials approved an agreement with the Suffolk County Board of Elections to use the Riverhead Senior Center on Shade Tree Lane in Aquebogue for early voting.
New York is the 39th state to give voters the option of early voting.
Advocates of early voting say it could increase overall voter participation and ease long lines at polling places on Election Day.
In a statement issued following state Legislature approval, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the measure makes it easier for New Yorkers to participate in the democratic process.
“These proposals will not only modernize our voting laws, they will remove barriers that have prevented and discouraged voters from exercising their sacred right to vote,” Gov. Cuomo said.
According to the Suffolk County Board of Elections website, the senior center in Mattituck is the designated early voting facility in Southold Town.
The dates and times for early voting are:
• Saturday, 10/26: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Sunday, 10/27: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Monday, 10/28: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Tuesday, 10/29: noon-8 p.m.
• Wednesday, 10/30: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Thursday, 10/31: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
• Friday, 11/1: noon-8 p.m.
• Saturday, 11/2: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Sunday, 11/3: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.