New York

Upcoming Elections

Oct. 9, 2020 – Deadline to Register In Person or by Mail

Registration must be postmarked by October 9, 2020.

Oct. 14, 2020 – Change of Address Deadline
Oct. 24, 2020 – First Day of Early Voting
Oct. 27, 2020 – Deadline to Request Absentee Ballot Online or by Mail

Absentee Ballot request must be postmarked by October 27, 2020

Nov. 1, 2020 – Last Day for Early Voting
Nov. 2, 2020 – Deadline to Apply for Absentee Ballot In-Person
Nov. 3, 2020 – Deadline to Hand-deliver completed Absentee Ballot (by 9:00 p.m.)

Voting In New York

When You Can Vote

Polls open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm

For more 2020 election information, visit the New York Board of Elections website.

Where You Can Vote

How to Find Your Polling Place

Call 866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683).

Registering To Vote

Registration Deadlines

If you are registering by mail, your application must be postmarked 25 days before the election and received no later than the twentieth day before the election. For the 2020 general election, your application must be postmarked by October 9 and received by a board of elections by October 14, 2020.

If you are registering in person, you may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year. But to be eligible to vote in the upcoming general election, your application must be received by October 9.

However, if you have been honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen after the registration deadline, you may register in person at the board of elections and vote in the general election held at least ten days after such registration.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or check the New York State Board of Election’s voter registration lookup page here.

How to Register

Online

Individuals may register to vote online in New York. You will need to create a MyDMV account. Online voter registration requires that you have a New York State Driver’s License, New York State Learner Permit or New York State Non-Driver ID, and your social security number. If you have moved, you must first update your address with the DMV, which you can do through the same website provided above. Online applications must be submitted on or before the deadline to be valid for any specific election.

In-Person or by Mail

You may also register to vote in person at your county board of elections. You can locate your county board here.

You can download a voter registration form from the New York Board of Elections Website in either English or Spanishand then print, fill it out, sign, and mail it to your county board of elections. You may also complete the form online (also in either English or Spanish) by typing the necessary information into the PDF, and then printing it out. These files are larger, so they may take longer to load depending on your internet connection. Mail your completed voter registration form to your county board of elections. Applications must be mailed and postmarked at least 25 days before the election you want to vote in.

Registration Eligibility

In order to vote, New York law requires that you MUST:

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you file your registration form (but note that you must be 18 years old by the date of the election in which you want to vote);
  • live at your present address at least 30 days before an election;
  • not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction (unless parolee pardoned or restored rights of citizenship);
  • not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court; and
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

Identification Required for Registration

The New York Voter Registration Application asks applicants to provide a DMV identification number (either a driver’s license number or a non-driver ID number) or the last four digits of their Social Security Number.

If you do not have either a DMV or Social Security Number, you can send a copy of the following acceptable forms of ID along with your registration form in order to establish your identity:

  • A valid photo ID;
  • A copy of a current utility bill;
  • A bank statement;
  • A paycheck;
  • A government check; or
  • Some other government document that shows the applicant’s name and address.

If an applicant’s identity cannot be verified before Election Day, they will be asked for ID when they vote for the first time. Note that failure to include acceptable ID with your registration form will not prevent you from registering, but you need to be prepared to show ID the first time you vote.

Voting Early & by Mail (Absentee)

If You Want to Vote Early or Vote Absentee

New York has early voting. Dates and hours are set by local election officials. For early voting information in your area, check with your county board of elections or check here if you are in New York City.

Qualifications to Vote Absentee

The following persons are qualified to vote by absentee ballot:

  • Persons who will be absent from their county, or if a resident of New York City then absent from the city, on Election Day;
  • Persons who will be unable to appear at the polls due to temporary (which includes fear of getting or spreading COVID-19) or permanent illness or disability; or because they are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled;
  • Patients or inmates in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital; and
  • Persons who will be detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

Note that while reasons are required for absentee voting, risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 is identified by NY law as a recognized reason for absentee voting under the temporary illness justification  Effectively, this means that anyone who has fears about in person voting due to COVID-19 may vote by absentee ballot. Governor Coumo issued a press release about this topic, with the stated purpose of raising awareness about the accessibility of absentee voting. 

Procedures for Voting by Absentee Ballot

Voters who meet the absentee ballot requirements may vote absentee by mail or in person.

In Person

Visit your county board of elections office (find yours here). You can pick up an application, fill it out, and deliver it to the county board through the day before the election. Some counties offer in-person absentee voting through the day before Election Day, so check with your county board of elections for more information.

By Mail

You can request the application online, by sending a letter to your county board of elections, or by picking it up from your county board in person. If applying by mail, the county board office must receive the absentee ballot application no later than seven days prior to the election.

The last day to postmark an absentee ballot request for the November general election is October 27th.  Note that NY state indicates that it can’t guarantee timely delivery of ballots requested less than 15 days before the election. It makes sense to give extra time for mail delivery in light of risks of delay to be sure your ballot arrives on time and your vote can be counted. If you write a letter, your letter must include the following information:

  • the address where you are registered;
  • an address where the ballot is to be sent;
  • the reason for the request; and
  • your signature as the registered voter.

Your voted ballot must be postmarked by the day of the election (November 3, 2020) or returned in person to your county board of elections by the close of polls (9 p.m.) on Election Day (November 3, 2020). Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on your absentee ballot. You may return the ballot personally or by mail. You may also have another person pick up the ballot for you, but you must first designate that person on your absentee ballot application. Anyone can return an absentee ballot for another without designation.  If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked by November 3 and received by the county board of elections by November 10th to be counted.

You must sign the oath on the envelope used to return the absentee ballot. If you cannot sign the oath on your absentee ballot envelope because of illness, physical disability or illiteracy, you must make your mark and have the mark witnessed by someone you designate.

Emergency Absentee Ballots

If the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail has passed and you cannot appear at the polls on Election Day because of an accident or sudden illness, then you may send a representative with an authorized letter to receive an Absentee Ballot Application and Absentee Ballot and return both to the your board of elections by 9:00 PM on Election Day.

Voting in Person after Requesting an Absentee Ballot

An individual who requested an absentee ballot but now wishes to vote at their polling place on Election Day may do so. If the voter votes in person after submitting an absentee ballot, the absentee ballot will be set aside.

Identification Requirements

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

The New York Voter Registration Application asks applicants to provide a DMV identification number (either a driver’s license number or a non-driver ID number) or else the last four digits of their Social Security Number.

If you do not have either a DMV or Social Security Number, you can send a copy of the following acceptable forms of ID along with your registration form in order to establish your identity:

  • A valid photo ID;
  • A copy of a current utility bill;
  • A bank statement;
  • A paycheck;
  • A government check; or
  • Some other government document that shows the applicant’s name and address.

If an applicant’s identity cannot be verified before Election Day, they will be asked for ID when voting for the first time.

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Most voters are not required to provide an ID at the polling place. However, if an applicant does not provide the above identification information with their voter registration application, they will be required to provide this information when voting for the first time.

VoteRiders has created New York voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

If You Have Moved Within New York

If you have moved since you last voted, or registered to vote, you will need to update your voter registration information. If it is on or before the voter registration deadline, you should register to vote at your new/current address (see above for instructions).

The voter registration deadline for the November general election is October 9 to postmark mailed registrations and  for in person registration.

If it is after the deadline, your options depend on where you moved from and to:

  • If you moved within the same precinct, go to your polling place (which should be the same for your old and new address if you’ve moved within the same precinct) and provide the poll worker with your new address. You should be able to vote a regular ballot.
  • If you moved within New York State (even if between boroughs or counties), go to the polling place for your NEW address and cast an affidavit ballot there. The affidavit ballot should be counted and your address changed in the voter registration records. You can find your new polling place by entering your new address here.

If you  to New York from another state within the 30 days prior to the election, you are only eligible to vote for president and vice president, not a full ballot. You can vote for president and vice president by special presidential ballot where you used to live. You may apply for a special presidential ballot from the board by: mail no later than the 7th day before the election, or by in-person delivery of your application on or before Election Day.

If You are in the Military or are an Overseas Voter

Special services are provided to assist military and overseas civilian voters participate in elections. If you are a military or overseas civilian voter who is eligible to vote in New York, you can find out more at the New York Board of Elections site here.

Military and overseas citizens can also use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot. Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s (FVAP) New York-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP’s New York-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by close of polls on Election Day. The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices. The FWAB may also be used to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step. If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program’s New York page to download the form.

If You Have A Felony Conviction

After completing your prison and/or parole sentence, you may register to vote.

A citizen cannot vote in New York if they have been convicted of a felony and are currently serving a sentence of imprisonment or parole. However, beginning in May 2018, the Governor began using his pardon power to restore voting rights to people successfully completing the terms of state parole. A voter may check whether they have received such a voting rights pardon here. Citizens who are on probation retain their right to vote. If you were previously registered to vote and lost your right to vote due to a felony conviction, you must reregister to vote by

I have a disability. Will my polling place be accessible?

Federal and New York law require that each polling place be accessible to physically disabled voters.  Additionally, at least one machine in each election district must be accessible to persons with disabilities. A physically disabled voter whose polling place is located in a building that is not accessible shall be entitled to vote in any other election district at a polling place located in a building which is accessible.

Election Protection Materials

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