Election results will be much faster in NY this year, here's why

New York election results have traditionally been a slow process, but a new law aims to speed up the process.  Here is what is different now.

The process of counting early and absentee ballots is new.  Election officials started to validate absentee ballots before election day.

New York City election officials say that they will scan the ballots starting an hour before the polls close at 9 p.m. on election day and will be in the vote totals on election night for the first time in a major election.

The results from a huge batch of absentee and early voting ballots are expected to be released in the initial release of vote totals shortly after 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!  |  Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters

"The unofficial results that we publish on election night will be the overwhelming majority of the votes that will be cast on election day," NYC Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan says.

Ryan adds that election officials do not see the votes and totals until they are scanned into the system on election day.

Republican election officials in parts of New York had refused to process absentee ballots early amid a court challenge but started opening and scanning them after a warning from the state attorney general.

An appeals court upheld a state supreme court decision that rejected a challenge to process them early.

Voters could still apply for an absentee ballot at their local county Board of Elections office until Monday, Nov. 7.  Ballots must be returned by mail, with a postmark no later than Nov. 8, or in person at a polling site or a county Board of Elections office by 9 p.m. election day.  Those ballots are not as likely to be in the election night totals.

New York election polling stations will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, for the midterm election.