A How-To Guide for Registering To Vote

Political Parties

Enrolling in a political party is optional. However, if you wish to vote in a political party’s primary elections, you must enroll in that political party. If you switch political parties, you cannot vote in your new party’s primary until after the first general election after your switch. Thus, if you switch party affiliation before the 2014 general election, you may vote in your new party’s primary in 2015. However, if you switch after the 2014 general election, you cannot vote in your “new” party’s primary until 2016.


Confirmation of Registration

You will receive an official postcard from the Board of Elections in the mail indicating your election district, polling place and schedule for voting. You will also be sent a Voter’s Identification Card. If either card is not received within two weeks of registering, call the Board of Elections hot line at (212) VOTE-NYC.

Who Can Register?

In order to be eligible to register to vote you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen by birth (anyone born in the United States or its territories, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and certain Panamaniansare U.S. citizens); or
  • A naturalized U.S. citizen (Immigrants become U.S. citizens by “naturalization.”Naturalized U.S. citizens are foreign-born individuals who are granted citizenshipby the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).
  • A t least 18 years old and a New York resident for at least 30 days prior to a primary or general election
  • Not currently serving time (in jail, on work release, on parole) for a felony conviction.
  • You must mail or deliver registration form at least 25 days prior to an election.
  • You need to register to vote if:
    • You have changed your address since the last time you voted or registered to vote
    • You wish to change your party affiliation; and/or
    • You have changed your name since last voting.
  • The last day to hand-deliver or postmark a voter registration form to the Board of Elections in order to vote in the primary election on September 9, 2014  is August 15, 2014.  The last day to register to vote in the general election on November 4, 2014 is October 10, 2014.  The American Heritage Dictionary defines “voting” as the formal expression of a preference for a candidate foroffice or for a proposed resolution of an issue.  Voting is the foundation upon which our democracy rests. The vote is our voice and it should be used loudly and regularly. Use your voice. Vote!

How Do I Register?

Registering to vote is easy to do.

The City University of New York makes voter registration forms available to all CUNY students when they register for classes. Ask about voter registration and the collection of application forms at your campus.

New York State Voter Registration Form <pdf> - PDF Reader - For best results, print this form on one sheet of 8.5 x 14 (legal size) paper, back-to-back (duplex printing).

You can also obtain a form, fill it out and mail it in yourself. You don’t even need a stamp. It’s as simple as that.

To get your voter registration form by mail, or for more information about voting, please call or visit the following websites:

  • THE NEW YORK CITY BOARD OF ELECTIONS
    (212) VOTE-NYC
  • THE VOTER ASSISTANCE UNIT
    NYC CAMPAIGN FINANCE BOARD
    (212) 306-7100; www.nyccfb.info/public
  • THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
    (212) 725-3541; www.lwvnyc.org
  • CITIZENS UNION
    (212) 227-0342; www.citizensunion.org

How To Obtain An Absentee Ballot Application?

If you cannot get to your poll site on Election Day you may qualify to vote by absentee ballot. You can vote by absentee ballot if you are temporarily or permanently ill/disabled, or if you are out of town on Election Day for business, vacation, school or similar circumstances. Please be advised that there are separate applications for both the primary and general elections. You may download the absentee ballot here <pdf>, or call the Voter Assistance Unit, NYC Campaign Finance Board at (212) 306-7100 or the Board of Elections at (212) VOTE-NYC for more information.