The second of four elections in the Empire State is upon us, as America's election season is in full swing this year. As we've noted before, New York has a busy election cycle, and there are tons of reasons to make sure you participate in the political process and cast your vote. With such a busy year, it's important that you keep up with what's happening in your community.

Earlier in April, we had the Presidential Primary election, which is a very important part of the electoral process in America and, in many communities, a key step in getting to the general election in November. Now that we're past that, it's time to move on to a special election for the US Congress.

What Is This Special Election For?

According to BallotPedia, a congressional special election is called to fill a vacancy in either the US House of Representatives or the US Senate. New York's 26th Congressional Seat in the US House of Representatives is currently vacant, and this election will select a new congressman to fill that seat.

This is the 10th special election for the current session of Congress. Since 2013, there have been 67 special elections to fill vacant seats in Congress.

To vote in this special election, you need to live in New York's 26th Congressional District. The district includes all of Buffalo, all of Niagara Falls, and parts of northern Erie County, and all of Niagara County. In total, it represents an estimated 767,330 people.

U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Census Bureau

When Is The General Election This Year?

Election day in the United States is always on the Tuesday after the 2nd Monday in November and has been this way since 1845 when the 28th Congress amended the rules. This year's election is considered a midterm election and is scheduled for Tuesday, November 5th.

So What's So Important About This Election?

This election is extremely important for Western New York, as the region has been without representation in the House of Representatives since Mr. Higgins resigned his position on February 2, 2024. Since then, residents of New York's 26th Congressional District have not had their positions argued in Congress. This election will fill this seat for the remainder of the year until the general election happens in November.

This election features New York State Senator Tim Kennedy running against West Seneca Town Supervisor Gary Dickson.

What Do You Need To Know For Special Election Day

  • NY's 26th Congressional District Special Election is Tuesday, April 30, 2024.
  • Voting polls and locations all across New York State open at 6 a.m. and will stay open until 9 p.m.
  • The voting polls will allow everyone who is in line to vote at 9 p.m., and they will remain fully staffed until everyone has cast their vote
  • If you don't think you will have enough time to vote on election day because of work, New York State Law requires your employer to give you up to 2 hours of paid time off if you do not have “sufficient time to vote.”
  • It's too late to request a mail-in ballot, but if you already have one, you can drop it off at any voting location or at your local Board of Elections office.
  • When you go vote, you must vote at the polling place assigned to you. Because of the 2020 US Census, your voting location may have changed. If you don’t know where that is, you can check the NYS Elections Voter Lookup Tool right here.
  • If you live in Erie or Niagara County, you can also check their local voter look-up tools here for Erie County and here for Niagara County. Other counties also may have a look-up tool so that you can check their websites.
  • New York does NOT require a Voter ID to vote. You can just give your name and you can sign the voter check-in book. However your ID might may you check in faster, but it is NOT a requirement.
  • If you run into any issues while voting, you can immediately reach out to the local Board of Elections. You can reach the Erie County BOE at 716-858-8891 and the Niagara County BOE at 716-438-4041 or 716-438-4040.
  • Also, the Office of the New York Attorney General would also like to hear about any issues you run into, you can find their Election Hotline Tool here.

We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate.
–Thomas Jefferson

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