Doing Your Civic Duty During a Pandemic

How to Cast Your Vote AND Fill Out the 2020 Census

Without Leaving Your Home

The COVID-19 outbreak affecting the United States during such an important political year has made many people concerned about how they can vote and stay engaged in their communities while remaining safe at home. Fortunately, steps are being taken by the State to make it easier for New Yorkers to vote and complete the 2020 census.

Here are some ways you can do your civic duty without leaving home: 

Apply for an Absentee Ballot

The Primary Elections in New York State are scheduled for June 23rd, 2020. The New York State Government and Board of Elections are advising any registered voter to submit their vote via absentee ballot. Here are ways you can vote:

  • By Mail: 
    • Governor Cuomo is sending all New Yorkers applications for absentee ballots, along with postage, making completing and remitting the form easy to submit by mail.
  • Online: 
    • If you don’t want to wait for the application to arrive in the mail, you can visit and follow the instructions to check off “Temporary Illness” as your reason for requesting an absentee ballot
    • Ballots requested online will be distributed by mail starting in mid-May, in the order the requests were received. 
  • In person:
    • You will still have the option to vote in person at your designated poll site on the day of the election without an absentee ballot.

2020 is a significant election year as it includes not only the Presidential election but also 470 seats in the U.S. Congress (35 Senate seats and 435 House seats) that are up for reelection on November 3, 2020. We all know the candidates running for President but there will be other members of the government on your ballot depending on where you are registered.

Visit to learn about your local city, state and federal representatives. You can also see sample ballots and other important information about voting. 

 Fill out the 2020 Census 

The 2020 Census counts everyone living in the United States and its five territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Data from the 2020 Census are used to:

  • Ensure public services and funding for schools, hospitals, and fire departments.
  • Plan new homes and businesses and improve neighborhoods.
  • Determine how many seats your state is allocated in the House of Representatives. 

You can complete the questionnaire online, by calling 844-330-2020 or by returning the form you likely have received in the mail. It should only take about 10 minutes (or less!) to fill out.  In light of the pandemic, the Census Bureau has extended the deadline to respond to the census through October 31, 2020. For more information visit:

Fulfilling your civic duty by filling out the 2020 Census and voting are two ways for your voice to be heard in government and will have a direct impact on your community. 

Please fill out the 2020 Census and be sure to vote!

Other Online Resources:

Find Your Pollsite – or call 1-866-VOTE-NYC

Register to Vote & Confirm Your Voter Registration –