Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can students vote at their temporary college address?
Students attending college in New York may register to vote in their school’s district after residing at the same address for at least 30 days. Alternatively, they may remain registered with their parents’ address and continue voting in home district elections with an absentee ballot.
2. How can people who are away from home vote?
Eligible voters who are away from home can specify the address where their NY absentee ballot should be sent. See “How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot.”
Voters from other states should see , How to Vote in Each Statefrom the US Election Assistance Commission.
The USA.gov website, How to Register and Vote has links for you to register and to vote by Absentee Ballot for most states, and Washington D.C.
3. What if I recently moved within NY?
If you move within NY State, you may need to re-register. In 2019, NY passed a law permitting statewide voter registration transfers, also known as “Registration Portability.” The law allows the Board of Elections to transfer your registration and enrollment information to wherever you move within the state. This enables you to vote on an affidavit (paper) ballot if you move to a new county even if it has not received your change of address information. Your affidavit ballot will be counted once the Board of Elections verifies your voter registration.
It is strongly recommended, however, that if you move, you still submit a voter registration form with your new information or visit MyDMV to change your registration online.
4. What ID will I need to register to vote?
See the online registration form, which is available from the NY Department of Motor Vehicles and the pdf registration form, which can be downloaded. It specifies what documentation you must provide:
- ID Number from your NY Driver License, Permit or Non-Driver ID
- Document Number (what is the document number?) from your NY Driver License, Permit or Non-Driver ID
- Last 4 digits of your social security number
Visit a DMV office, or your County Board of Elections to register in person or register by mail if you:
- have a licence or permit from a different state
- recently replaced your license, permit, or ID, and have not received the new one in the mail yet
- have a temporary (interim) license, permit, or non-driver ID
- cannot locate your Document Number.
5. What ID do I need to vote in person or by Absentee Ballot?
If you’ve voted in New York in person before, you don’t need to provide an ID to vote as long as your signature matches previous elections.
If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail, and didn’t provide a copy of your ID with your registration, you may need to show ID to vote. ID can be: 1) a current and valid photo ID, or 2) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address.
If you are unable to provide ID, you should be able to vote using an affidavit ballot.
6. I am avoiding public spaces due to COVID-19. Do I need an excuse to vote by absentee ballot?
NY voters who are reluctant to be in a public space due to Covid-19 can use an absentee ballot. One of the options for why you are requesting a NY Absentee Ballot is:
- Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19).
7. What if I don’t have stamps for the Absentee ballot?
According to the New York Voter website, the voter must cover postage. Postage stamps can be purchased online from the United States Postal Service website, at a post office and at some grocery stores, banks, and pharmacies. It has not yet been specified if you need one stamp or more.
Voters who can’t get their hands on a stamp may not be out of luck. Unlike regular mail that will be returned to the sender if sufficient postage is not paid, USPS has a policy that it will still deliver “short-paid and unpaid absentee balloting materials” classified as official election mail, according to its website.
However, don’t count on this policy. Try to get your ballot submitted using a stamp or in-person. Track you ballot to ensure it was received. You can still go to the polls and vote on election day if you have any concerns about yourabsentee ballot being counted.
8. What should voters in the military or overseas do?
Follow instructions at: https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingMilitaryFed.html
9. Where can I get information and assistance in other languages?
10. If I make a mistake on my Absentee Ballot can I get a new one?
Yes, contact your County Boards of Elections.
11. If I request an absentee ballot, am I allowed to change my mind and vote in-person?
You can still vote in Person if you request an absentee ballot. For more details, see https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html.
12. How can I check where the accessible entrances are at polling locations?
Check the location of the accessible entrance at your polling site.
In addition, your county Board of Elections will mail a special postcard to registered voters prior to the election every year. It will include the location of accessible entrances.
13. How do I know what will be on my ballot?
You can see a sample ballot for your community using this link.
14. Non-government information for NY voters:
➛ Vote 411-NY
➛ Campus Vote Project
➛ NY League of Women Voters Guides
15. Is it too late to fill out a census form?
No, the census has been extended until September 30. You can complete the census form here.
16. NY State Voting Official Website and Contacts
Phone: NY State Board of Elections (518) 474-6220
Phone number for each County Boards of Elections
NY Voting Information
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