How to Be Counted, Vote and Contact Representatives

Christina Knight | June 23, 2020

. For a democracy to work, we have to vote and let representatives know what we want. If you would like to influence laws that are enacted and what happens in your community, state and the country, there are two time-sensitive steps to take in June 2020. One is to be counted in the 2020 Census (for all residents of the U.S., citizen or non-citizen). The other is to take part in the democratic process by voting. If you are a registered voter in a party that is holding a primary, vote on June 23 in the primary election in New York State.

Below are ways to contact the elected officials who represent you, or your community board (in New York City), so you can share where you stand on an issue and what you would like them to do about it.

Fill Out the U.S. Census 2020 Form

The U.S. census count of all residents of the United States takes place every 10 years. New York State is far undercounted thus far in the U.S. Census 2020 and the new coronavirus pandemic has prohibited the typical in-person Census outreach. Fill out a survey for your household online at www.My2020census.gov.

Learn all about this year’s Census and various ways to respond in our blog Census 2020: When, How, What’s New.

Voting for Elected Officials

The New York State Board of Elections site is the official site to consult on all things related to voting in New York.

The deadline to submit absentee ballots in New York has been extended to June 23. To be counted, primary ballots must be postmarked by June 23. See all New York State deadlines for voter registration and absentee ballots for the June 23 Primary Election and November 3 General Election, here.

Absentee Ballots for November Election

In NYC: Follow the absentee application instructions at vote.nyc. For other means of applying and more information, see vote.nyc or call the NYC Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE-NYC.

New York State residents outside of New York City should contact the county board of elections office to request an absentee ballot.

Contact Your Representative in the U.S. Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate collectively form the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. You may have helped elect your representatives, but how regularly to you weigh in on issues to let them know how you would like them to vote? Do you know who currently represents you?

One way to find out who represents you is the search tool on whoismyrepresentative.com. To see who represents your voting district, enter your zipcode on the site. To search for all Congresspeople representing New York State, select New York State.

The results show your representatives, each with their photograph, name and political party. All have a link that leads to their Washington, DC, phone number and mailing address, and their own website.

Contact Your City and State Representatives

To find out your New York City Council District number and representative, your Community Board number and chairperson, and borough officials, use www.mygovnyc.org. Results based on your home address will also show your state representatives who convene in Albany, as well as those in the federal government who represent you. All search results include contact information, websites and social media accounts.

Community Boards in New York City

There are 59 Community Boards in New York City. Their primary mission is to advise elected officials and government agencies on matters affecting their district. The public is encouraged to attend a Community Board’s various public hearings, committee meetings, informational meetings, and special events to participate actively at the grassroots level. Find your community board and learn more about them, here.

See some Community Board meetings in action in their videos on the THIRTEEN YouTube channel borough playlists.