Making Democracy Work

Register to Vote!

BE SURE TO REGISTER TO VOTE!

Nineteen percent of the voters in the 2012 Presidential election were 18-29 years old, and the youth vote was a decisive factor in the 2008 and 2012 elections. The right to vote is fundamental in a democratic society. Don't be left out + vote and your voice will be heard + at the national, state and local level.

The Right to Vote

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

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you register (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, 
primary
    or other election in which you want to vote);
  • live at your present address at least 30 days before an election;
  • not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction;
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere; and most importantly
  • have registered to vote.

Registration in New York You can register to vote in New York either online, by mail, or in person. If you are not yet 18, you can still register if you turn 18 by the end of the year.

ONLINE: Have your driver's license? New York now offers online registration through MyDMV for those with a DMV-issued driver's license or ID card. http://www.dmv.ny.gov/mydmv/motv-pop.htm.

BY MAIL: Voter registration forms can also be mailed or completed in person. The New York voter registration form is available online here.

IN PERSON: Fill out a form at a voter registration drive or at the Board of Elections in White Plains. Contact the NYS Board of Elections at 1-800-367-8683

Where Should I Register?

Register to vote at your current address. If you are going to college, when the time comes, you can choose to register to vote at your college address or keep your registration at your parent's address. For more information about choosing where to register once you leave for college, see below.

If You Are Going to College Out of State . . .

If you are in college, the following information will help you to decide whether to register and vote in your home district/state or at your college address. There are many good reasons for registering and voting at either residence, but keep in mind, in most cases the final choice is really yours. You can, of course, register and vote in only one locality + either at your home address or at your college address. 
Visit the LWV of New York website for a full discussion of factors you should consider when deciding where to vote, http://www.lwvny.org/advocacy/vote/RTVCollegeStudents.pdf

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be "home" -- whether that's your parents' house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state. Visit the Brennan Center website for accurate information on registering and voting in your college town: http://www.brennancenter.org/issues/student-voting. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding what can happen to students when they register and vote. This website provides information about the effect of registering at college on residency, financial aid, tuition, taxes, insurance and car registration.

Should I Register With a Political Party?

You can register to vote as a member of a political party. In some states, such as New York, you are required to be registered as a member of a political party if you want to participate in that party's primary elections.