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What Voters Should Know About 2023 Elections in NYC

What’s on the ballot, when are the key deadlines, and can non-citizens vote this year? Here’s everything you need to know.

February 16, 2023 Divya Murthy and Rachel Holliday Smith, The City
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Have a question for THE CITY about elections, voting and local campaigns? Let us know at [email protected] with the subject line “Election” — or by texting “Election” to (718) 215-9011. Hearing from you makes our reporting better!

With no federal or statewide races, 2023 is an off-year for politics — except in New York City.

Here, a busy election year is ahead. There’s guaranteed to be at least one race in your neighborhood, including City Council seats and district attorney elections in three boroughs.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The political season will kick off in earnest with candidates petitioning to get on the primary ballot starting later this month. The primary election is June 27: Voters will nominate party candidates through ranked-choice voting for city positions, except for district attorney races which do not use the ranked-choice method. The general election will be held on November 7.

Here’s what you need to know now.


City Council

Voters will get to decide who holds each of the 51 City Council seats this year. The districts were redrawn last year following the 2020 nationwide census, which revealed changes in the city’s population. The districts were changed to ensure that they represent roughly equal populations, and equitably represent minority populations.

What’s more, the city’s charter says that every 20 years, City Council members will serve a two-year term instead of a traditional four-year term to allow “new challenges” to incumbents during the redistricting shuffle. You can think of it as a four-year term split into two — except that anyone who wins the first two-year term is not guaranteed a second win. (Council members are limited to serve no more than two four-year terms, per a 2010 referendum.)

Look up which City Council member is currently representing you here. And see which redrawn district you will be in next year according to new Council maps found here.

District Attorney: The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island

Three boroughs have elections to choose new district attorneys, the top local prosecutor in the county. In The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, the incumbents — Darcel Clark, Melinda Katz and Michael McMahon, respectively — will have to win re-election. There are no term limits for district attorneys in New York City. And because the office is a county position — serving through the state court system — ranked-choice voting does not apply to these races; voters will choose candidates through the traditional one-vote method.

Others: Judges and delegates

There are a few other races that may pop up on your ballot, including Civil Court judge and delegates to the judicial convention. Read more about those jobs and what they do in our guide.

Key dates in 2023

For the primary:

For the general election:

How can I check if I’m registered? And where do I vote?

Find your voter registration details here. You’ll also see which districts you’ll vote in for judicial, congressional, City Council and civil court elections.

The BOE hasn’t updated its polling site locations yet — we’ll update this story when they do.

When will I know who’s actually on the ballot for the June primaries?

The first week of May.

That’s when the city Board of Elections certifies the ballot, i.e. ensures that all of the candidates have followed the proper protocols to earn a spot in the primary.

A big part of doing this is petitioning, or the process of collecting a certain number of signatures from potential voters in the district where a candidate is running.

You may see campaign volunteers asking people on the street to sign petitions supporting their candidate’s run; they’re usually holding long paper forms from the Board of Elections.

Candidates need a lot of signatures. For example, for New York City Council seats, the city charter mandates a minimum of 450 signatures this year. But, often, candidates gather many more than the minimum — in case a political opponent challenges their validity and moves to throw some out.

The period for collecting signatures begins on February 28 and runs through April 6. Then, election officials have about four weeks to certify the candidates and issue a final ballot lineup.

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I vote in local New York City elections?

Probably not this year.

The City Council passed a law in late 2021 allowing non-citizens in the five boroughs to vote in municipal elections. But a judge on Staten Island struck it down in the summer of 2022, and while the city almost immediately appealed that judge’s decision, it’s unlikely to be resolved for the 2023 election cycle. That means, for now, non-citizen New Yorkers can’t vote.

Have a question for THE CITY about elections, voting and local campaigns? Let us know at [email protected] with the subject line “Election” — or by texting “Election” to (718) 215-9011. Hearing from you makes our reporting better!

THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.

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