Build Political Power

Why We Should Build Political Power

Members of our Union canvassing for local elected officials.
At a time when we can’t hit the streets to support candidates who support working people, the most fundamental thing we can do to build our Union’s political power is vote.

Since 2007, our Union has been building political power in order to give our members a seat at the table and a say over state and local laws that impact the security of our jobs and affect working people in our communities.

We have achieved a long list of political victories. We have helped to elect dozens of officials who support working people in our statehouses and local governments. We’ve gone head to head with the real-estate industry in New York and won. To their dismay, we’ve helped pass laws that limit the over development of hotels in certain neighborhoods. We’ve gone up against Airbnb and other home-sharing sites that compete with good, union hotel jobs, increase rent, and endanger our local neighborhoods and passed restrictions that take away their ability to operate illegal hotels in our cities. And we’ve passed many laws that help working people including the fight for a $15 minimum wage, pre-K for all in New York City, the creation of over 100,000 new affordable housing units in the five boroughs, and key criminal justice reforms in New York State.

But the work will never be complete. Alone, none of us have the money or power that the real estate industry, developers, and Wall Street have to influence in politics. But together - as a Union - we can. By voting as a block, mobilizing our communities, and holding elected officials accountable once they’re in office we can get candidates that support the working class elected and get laws passed.

The key to our success has been our militant and active membership. Thousands of members have come out to knock on doors to get out the vote and have raised small donations for candidates.

New York

Register to vote

    • New York's deadline to postmark your application to register to vote in time for the general election on November 3, 2020: October 9, 2020.
    • Register to vote, change your address, or change your party affiliation online here.

Vote by absentee ballot

Once you are registered to vote, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the law that Governor Cuomo signed on August 20, 2020, which allows all registered voters in the state to cast an absentee ballot in the November general election due to risk of illness, including COVID-19. This will allow you to vote without going to a polling place.     

Apply for your absentee ballot

If you live in New York City:

    • Complete your application online here. The application process only takes a few minutes.
    • If you are requesting an absentee ballot due to the risk of contracting COVID-19, on the application’s first question, check the box next to “temporary illness or physical disability”.

If you live in New York State (outside of New York City), or you prefer to apply for your absentee ballot by email, mail, or in person:

To vote by absentee ballot, you will need to fill out this application.

If you are requesting an absentee ballot due to the risk of contracting COVID-19, on the application’s first question, check the box next to “temporary illness or physical disability”.

If applying by email (New York City only):

Email your completed application to: Apply4Absentee@boe.nyc. To avoid delays, send your application as a PDF.

    • Deadline to apply for an absentee ballot for the November general election: October 27, 2020.

If applying by mail:

    • Print your completed application and mail it to your local Board of Elections office
      • New York City: You can find your borough election board’s address here.
      • Outside of New York City: You can find your county election board’s email and mailing addresses here.

    • If you choose to mail your application, it must be postmarked by October 27. We encourage you to apply even earlier. The U.S. Postal Service has advised that they cannot guarantee your ballot will be delivered in time if you apply less than 15 days before the election.

If applying in-person:

    • Deadline to apply in-person: the end of the business on November 2, 2020.
    • Print your completed application and bring it in person during business hours (currently 9 AM - 5 PM), to your local Board of Elections office.
      • New York City: You can find your borough election board’s address here.
      • Outside of New York City: You can find your county election board’s email and mailing addresses here.

Cast your absentee ballot

When you receive your absentee ballot, it will include instructions for how to cast your ballot.

Mailing your ballot:

    • Your ballot must be mailed and postmarked by Election Day on November 3 and received no later than November 10.

    • We encourage you to mail in your ballot at least 2 weeks in advance to avoid problems.

Hand-delivering your ballot:

    • For physical drop-off, you must give your ballot to your local Board of Elections office by the end of business on Election Day: November 3, 2020.

      • New York City: You can find your borough election board’s address here.
      • Outside of New York City: You can find your county election board’s email and mailing addresses here.

Vote in person

Early voting:

If you do not wish to cast an absentee ballot, you will be able to vote in person at your local polling place during the early voting period of October 24-November 1, 2020. All New Yorkers can find a list of early voting sites here, by scrolling to find your county and entering your address.

Voting on Election Day:

You can also vote in person on Election Day, November 3rd from 6 AM - 9 PM.

If you live in New York City, you can find your Election Day polling place by entering your address here.

If you live in New York State (outside of New York City), you can find your Election Day polling place by entering your information here.

New Jersey

Register to vote

    • New Jersey's deadline to postmark your application to register to vote in time for the general election on November 3, 2020: October 13, 2020.
    • You can download a Voter Registration form here. You can also call (877) 658-6837, select your county of residence, and request that your local Board of Elections mail you a voter registration form.

Vote by mail-in ballot

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order on August 14, 2020, which allows the state to primarily use a mail-in ballot system for the November general election. The state will send mail-in ballots to all registered voters during the first week of October. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the Governor’s initiative and cast a mail-in ballot this year.  

Registered voters should receive their mail-in ballot in early October

You do not need to apply for an mail-in ballot in New Jersey. A mail-in ballot will be sent to all registered voters in early October.     

Cast your mail-in ballot

You will be able to cast your mail-in ballot in one of three ways.

Mailing your ballot:

    • Your ballot must be mailed through USPS and postmarked by Election Day on November 3 and received by your county election board no later than November 10
    • We encourage you to mail in your ballot at least 2 weeks in advance to avoid problems.
    • You can find the mailing address of your county election board here.

Depositing your ballot at a drop box location:

    • Secure drop boxes will be set up in convenient locations throughout the state. New Jersey is currently expanding the amount of voting drop box locations for the November general election. The state will publish a list of all drop box locations in the state soon.

Hand-delivering your ballot:

    • You can bring your ballot to your local polling place on Election Day to hand-deliver it to a poll worker. You can use your home address to find your polling place here.

Vote in person

If you do not wish to vote by mail, you can vote at your local polling place on Election Day, November 3.

You can find your local polling place by entering your address and ZIP code here.

Connecticut

Register to vote

    • Connecticut’s deadline to register to vote in time for the general election on November 3, 2020: October 27, 2020.
    • You can register to vote online here.
    • If you prefer to mail in your voter registration form, or turn in your form in person at your local Registrar of Voters office, you can download an application here
    • You can find the address of your town’s Registrar of Voters office here.
    • If you miss the deadline, Connecticut offers same-day registration and voting. You can register to vote at your town’s Election Day Registration location. Contact your town’s Registrar of Voters office for locations, hours, and ID requirements.

Vote by absentee ballot

Connecticut will allow all registered voters to vote by absentee ballot in the November general election. 

Apply for your absentee ballot

Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill announced in May that the state will mail an absentee ballot application to every registered voter in the state by mid-September 2020.

On Section II of the application, check the box next to “COVID-19” if you are applying due to the risk of COVID-19.

Applying by mail or in person:

    • Once you have completed your absentee ballot application, you can either mail it to your Town Clerk’s office, or give it to your Town Clerk’s office in person. You can find the address of your Town Clerk’s office here.

Cast your absentee ballot

Once your application has been received, you should receive your absentee ballot in the mail on or after October 2, 2020. If your application is received after October 2, you will receive your absentee ballot as soon as your application is processed.

After you complete your ballot, you have 3 options to cast your vote.

Mailing your ballot:

    • You can mail in your ballot to your Town Clerk’s office after carefully following the instructions on your ballot. Your ballot must be received by your Town Clerk by 8:00 PM on November 3.
    • We encourage you to mail in your ballot at least 2 weeks in advance to avoid problems.
    • You can find the address of your Town Clerk’s office here.

Hand-delivering your ballot:

    • You can turn in your ballot to your Town Clerk’s office in person on or before November 3.

Depositing your ballot at a drop box location:

    • You can place your ballot in a secure drop box before 8:00 PM on November 3. These boxes will be set up throughout each town in the state. Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill has recommended that voters use the ballot drop boxes.

Vote in person

If you do not wish to vote by absentee ballot, you can vote at your local polling place on Election Day, November 3. You can find your polling place by entering your information here.

Pennsylvania

Register to vote

    • Pennsylvania’s deadline to register to vote in time for the general election on November 3, 2020: October 19, 2020.
    • You can register to vote online here.
    • You can also register to vote by completing a voter registration form and mailing or bringing it to your county voter registration office. You can find the voter registration form, and the addresses of all county voter registration offices in the state, here.
    • If you choose to mail your form, it must be received by October 19.

Vote by absentee ballot

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation allowing registered voters in Pennsylvania to vote absentee or by mail for any reason. 

Apply for your absentee ballot

If you wish to vote absentee, you will need to fill out an application to receive an absentee ballot.

Applying online:

    • The easiest way to apply for an absentee ballot in Pennsylvania is by using the state’s online application, which you can find here.
    • You will need a Pennsylvania State Drivers License or PennDOT ID card to apply online.

Applying by mail or in person:

    • If you do not have a Pennsylvania State Drivers License of PennDOT ID card, you will need to apply for an absentee ballot by mail.
    • You can find the paper application here.
    • Mail your completed application to your county’s Board of Elections office or bring it in person to their office. You can find the address by searching for your county here.
    • The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is 5:00 PM on October 27, 2020. If you are mailing in your absentee ballot application, the application must be received by your county voter registration office by October 27, 2020.
    • We recommend that you mail your application as soon as possible, at least 2 weeks before the deadline.

Cast your absentee ballot

Once you have applied, you should receive your absentee ballot in the mail some time in late September, or as soon as possible if you apply after late September.

You can only cast your absentee ballot by mailing it to your county Board of Elections office.

Mailing your ballot:

    • After you complete your ballot, follow the included instructions to cast your ballot by mail. The included large envelope will have its postage paid already.
    • Your ballot must be received by your county Board of Elections office by 8:00 PM on Election Day, November 3, 2020. You can find the mailing address for your Board of Elections office by searching for your county here.
    • We encourage you to mail in your ballot at least two weeks before Election Day.

Vote in person

If you do not wish to vote by absentee ballot, you can vote at your local polling place on Election Day, November 3. You can find your polling place by entering your address here.