Student voters should be on their toes this year. With new obstacles to voting being ID presentation and extensive citizenship verification in the registration process, it’s clear that there are hurdles that have to be climbed to “get out the vote.”
Throughout the country, voter registration and balloting have begun to face new and unforeseen levels of red tape. Though New York City Election Boards have been relatively articulate about expectations and requirements for voter registration, we’re sharing with you some of the basics about voter registration before the rush comes this fall.
Here’s what to remembering about registering to vote in New York:
- Remember that you must register to vote 25 days before any election in order to be eligible to vote in that election. This year, Election Day is November 6th. According to the NY Board of Elections deadlines page, “Applications must be postmarked no later than October 12th and received by a board of elections no later than October 17th to be eligible to vote in the General Election.”
- The print version of the application can be found here.
- You can register to vote via mail or in person. For an interesting civic trip, and if you want to register in-person, visit your county Board of Elections office, which are scattered across the five boroughs, and are open from 9-5.
If you choose to send your registration application via postal service, mail your application form to the following address:
Board of Elections in the City of New York
32 Broadway, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10004-1609
The “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA), enacted into law in 2002, requires all first time voters to provide additional identification information on the application, such as your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your social security number.
If you do not have a driver’s license or social security number, you may use a valid photo ID, such as a passport, a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check or some other government document that shows your name and address.
If you have moved to a new address – any address other than the one you have listed on your voter registration application – you must notify the Board of Elections office of this change in address.
If you are moving from Palladium to Carlyle (because of that damn housing lottery), from Manhattan to Brooklyn (it was only a matter of time), or from your old apartment into a new one with your significant other (good luck), you will need to inform your local Board of Elections office so that they can process that information 25 days before Election Day, at least. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to vote.
Studying abroad in the fall? Already registered to vote in Georgia or New Jersey when you turned 18? Stay tuned for more information about absentee ballots.