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League of Women Voters

Voting In New York

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Friday, October 10, 2014
By Mail:
Postmarked by Friday, October 10, 2014
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 (General Election)
Board of Elections
40 Steuben Street
Albany, NY 12207-2108
Phone:
518-473-5086
Fax:
518-486-4546

Upcoming Debates and Forums

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in New York, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • 18 years old by the date of the general election
  • A resident of your present address for at least 30 days before the election
  • Not in jail or on parole for a felony conviction
  • Not claiming the right to vote elsewhere

ID Needed for Voter Registration

To register to vote you must have either a verifiable New York State driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have either of these, and you are registering for the first time by mail, you may provide a copy of one of the following:

  • A valid photo ID
  • A current utility bill
  • A bank statement
  • A government check
  • Some other government documentation that shows your name and address

If you do not provide identification with this form, you will be asked for it the first time you vote.Forms of current and valid photo identification include but are not limited to:

  • Passport
  • Government ID card
  • Military ID card
  • Student ID card
  • Public housing ID card
  • Any ID specified by HAVA and New York State law as acceptable
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check (Social Security, tax refund, military paycheck or paycheck stub)
  • Other government documents with your name and address including but not limited to: voter registration card, hunting, fishing, or trapping license or firearm permit.

 

ID Needed for Voting?

If you are a new voter who is registering by mail, you will be required to show identification when you go to vote for the first time. If you are already registered at the board of elections or a state agency, you should not have to show identification at the polls. It is advisable for all new voters to bring identification when voting for the first time. Acceptable IDs to to vote are:

  • Passport
  • Government ID card
  • Military ID card
  • Student ID card
  • Public housing ID card
  • Any ID specified by HAVA and New York State law as acceptable
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Paycheck
  • Government check (Social Security, tax refund, military paycheck or paycheck stub)
  • Other government documents with your name and address including but not limited to: voter registration card, hunting, fishing, or trapping license or firearm permit.

Registration Deadline

You can register any time during the year, your form must be delivered or mailed at least 25 days before the next election for it to be effective for that election. Please contact the New York State Board of Elections for specific times and locations.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please use your state's voter verification tool or contact your local board of elections.

Absentee Ballot Process

You are eligible for an absentee ballot if:

  • You are unavoidably absent from your county on Election Day
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to illness
  • disability a patient in a Veterans' Administration Hospital
  • Detained in jail awaiting grand jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

Applications for absentee ballots are available from your county board of elections and the LWV, and may also be available at hospitals, nursing homes, colleges, libraries, senior citizen centers, social service agencies, state government offices and from political parties. The applications can be downloaded from the NYS Board of Elections website or the LWVNYS website.You may also request an absentee ballot by sending a letter to your county board of elections. The letter must be received by your county board no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. The letter must contain the following information:

  • The address where you are registered
  • An address where the ballot is to be sent
  • The reason for the request
  • The signature of the voter

An application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot. If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only the person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot. If you are permanently ill or disabled, you have the right to receive an absentee ballot for each subsequent election without further application. You should file an application with your board of elections containing a statement which describes the particulars of your illness or disability. The board will review the facts stated, and if satisfied, will mark your registration record. You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.

To be counted, an absentee ballot must be postmarked by the day before Election Day and must reach the board of elections no more than seven days after the election. 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 board of elections by 9:00 pm on Election Day at your borough office. You can find your board of elections information at the New York State Board of Elections. If you have further questions, please call the state board of elections at 518-474-6220.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

 

If you have filled out your ballot and want to use express delivery, you can use the Overseas Vote Foundation's Express Your Vote resource for discounted shipping rates and reliable tracking.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have filled out your ballot want to use express delivery, you can use the Overseas Vote Foundation's Express Your Vote resource for discounted shipping rates and reliable tracking.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

In person absentee voting begins as soon as the ballots are available at least 30 days before an election and ends on Election Day. In person absentee voting is conducted during the above period, at the board of elections' borough offices. Operating hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm except on Election Day, when they are open until 9:00 pm.

Election Dates

The next election is Tuesday, November 4, 2014 (General Election). The registration deadline is Friday, October 10, 2014.

Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.

Check your state's resource for local election dates and information, or check with your local League of Women Voters.

 

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in New York:

  • You will be entitled to compensation
  • You must be registered to vote in New York
  • You must be at least 18 years of age
  • Political affiliation required
  • You must be a resident of the county or in New York city must be a resident of the city
  • A training course and an exam must be completed
  • Students 16 or 17 years old who are enrolled in high school may be appointed
  • Translator positions also required

To sign up visit your state's resource or contact your local board of elections .

Polling Place Hours

The polling place will be open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Time Off To Vote

Employers must grant employees sufficient time to vote, unless polls are open 4 hours before or after regular working shift. Employers may designate whether the time is to be taken at the beginning or end of the shift. Employees must notify employers of the need for time off not more than 10 days and not less than 2 days before the election. Employers must post a conspicuous notice of employee rights at least ten days before Election Day.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your local board of elections.

 

Provisional Voting

Provisional voting is available if the ballot was cast in the correct precinct.

Voting Machines

The voting machine systems used in New York are optical scan, DRE and lever.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.

There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for.

You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

Mechanical Lever Machines: On mechanical lever voting machines, the name of each candidate or ballot issue choice is assigned a particular lever in a rectangular array of levers on the front of the machine. A set of printed strips visible to the voters identifies the lever assignment for each candidate and issue choice. The levers are horizontal in their unvoted positions.The voter enables the machine with a lever that also closes a privacy curtain. The voter pulls down selected levers to indicate choices. When the voter exits the booth by opening the privacy curtain with the handle, the voted levers are automatically returned to their original horizontal position. As each lever returns, it causes a connected counter wheel within the machine to turn one-tenth of a full rotation. The counter wheel, serving as the ones position of the numerical count for the associated lever, drives a tens counter one-tenth of a rotation for each of its full rotations. The tens counter similarly drives a hundreds counter. If all mechanical connections are fully operational during the voting period, and the counters are initially set to zero, the position of each counter at the close of the polls indicates the number of votes cast on the lever that drives it. Interlocks in the machine prevent the voter from voting for more choices than permitted.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the voting machine summary of the New York State Board of Elections.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

Most polling places are now accessible to the handicapped. If yours is not, you may ask to have your records transferred to a nearby accessible polling place where the ballot will be the same as in your election district. You may also vote by absentee ballot. If you have a long-term or permanent illness or disability, you can apply for a permanent absentee ballot and you will automatically receive one before each primary and general election. For additional information, please visit your state's Board of Election.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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