Your Guide to Registering to Vote in New York

The high stakes and outright absurdity of this year’s presidential campaigns have people across the nation fired up and anxious to get to the polls. However, if you’re a first-time voter, you may feel unsure about the steps you need to take to cast your ballot this November. Whether you’re freshly 18 or just haven’t been motivated to vote until now, fear not! Registering to vote is SO much easier than you think!

Since you are allowed to vote in the state where you go to school, we will give you a run through on how to register in the state of New York. There are three ways you can register to vote in New York State: online, by mail, and in person. They are all super simple and take very little time to complete, so no excuses!

Register Online 

Deadline: October 14 

How to do it:

  1. Go to https://voterreg.dmv.ny.gov/MotorVoter/.
  2. Fill out the form with your information.
  3. Click Submit. 
  4. That’s all! How easy was that?

Register by Mail 

Deadline: Postmarked by October 14, Received by October 19 

How to do it:

  1. Go to http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html
  2. Download and print out the NYS Voter Registration Form (Available in English and Spanish). 
  3. Fill out the form with your information. 
  4. Make sure you sign and date the form! 
  5. Once you’re done, send the completed form to your county’s board of elections. The address for each county is provided at the end of the form, or you can find the address here: http://www.elections.ny.gov/CountyBoards.html 
  6. Congrats! You’re registered to vote!

Register in Person 

Deadline: October 14 

How to do it: 

  1. Pick up the NYS Voter Registration Form at your county’s board of elections or DMV. You can also download and print out the form from http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html
  2. Fill out the form with your information. 
  3. Sign and date!
  4. Return the completed form in person to your board of elections or DMV. 
  5. You’re DONE!

Apply for an Absentee Ballot 

An absentee ballot is necessary if you are unable to go to your designated polling place on Election Day. 

Deadline: Apply by November 1 

How to: 

  1. If you haven’t registered yet, check the box on your NYS Voter Registration Form that indicates you need an Absentee Ballot Application sent to you. 
  2. If you have already registered, you can find the application here: http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html
  3. Fill out the Absentee Ballot Application and mail it to your county’s board of elections by November 1. 
  4. You will then receive a ballot and a return envelope with instructions on how to fill them out. 
  5. Fill out your ballot and mail it to the address on the return envelope you were given by November 7. 

Don’t know if/where you’re registered to vote? Visit https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/voterSearch.aspx to find out! This is also where you can find out where your polling place is on Election Day. Now that you’re registered and have applied for your absentee ballot, you’re ready for Election Day! Treat yourself for completing your civic duty and start your countdown to November 8!

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