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Frequently Asked Questions

"Who Can Vote?"
"Where Can I Get A Mail Registration Application?"
"Can I Register In Person?"
"If I Am A Student In New York City And Have A Residence In Another State, How Can I Vote In An Election?"
"Do I Have To Register Every Year?"
"How Will I Know Where To Vote?"
"How Do Candidates Get On The Ballot?"
"Who Can Sign A Petition?"
"Should I Be Concerned About Signing A Petition?"
"What Is A Primary Election?"
"Why Should I Enroll In A Political Party?"
"How Do I Enroll In A Political Party?"
"What Happens If I Can't Vote On Election Day?"
"How Can I Get An Absentee Ballot?"
"How Do I Mark A Paper Ballot"
"I'm Disabled. Where Can I Vote?"
"What Do I Need When I Go To Vote?"
"What Do I Do When I Get To The Poll Site?"
"What If I'm Not Permitted To Vote?"
"How Does the Scanner Work?"
"Suppose I Need Help?"
"If I Register To Vote, Will I Be Called For Jury Duty?"
"Can A Felony Conviction Affect My Right To Vote?"
"Can A Misdemeanor Conviction Affect My Right to Vote?"

"Who Can Vote?"

  • Be a United State Citizen
  • Be 18 years old by December 31st of the year in which you file this form. (Note you must be 18 years old by the date of the General, Primary or other Election in which you want to vote.)

NOTE: The registration form on this website is ONLY for residents of New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island). Be sure to complete and return your registration application before the deadline.

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"Where Can I Get A Mail Registration Application?"

E-mail your mailing address to vote@boe.nyc.ny.us (please put in the subject line the borough in which you reside) or call toll-free 1-866-VOTE-NYC (If out of New York City, call (212)-VOTE-NYC (868-3692) and ask to have an application sent to you. You may also pick one up at your local post office, library or motor vehicle office. Visit our registration page for more information. You can download the form and send it back to us postage paid.

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"Can I Register In Person?"

Yes. Many public agencies are now providing voter registration forms and assistance. You can also register at any one of the borough Board of Elections offices Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you don't get a registration card within 4 to 6 weeks of completing your application, you might want to call the Board of Elections in the City of New York Phone Bank toll-free at 1-866-VOTE-NYC or (212)-VOTE-NYC if out of New York City, to see if your application was processed.

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"If I Am A Student In New York City And Have A Residence In Another State, How Can I Vote In An Election?

If you are a student in New York City, but have a residence in another state and wish to register in New York, you must fill out a registration form indicating your New York City residency. That registration will be treated as any other registration. The new registration will cancel out the registration in the other state.

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"Do I Have To Register Every Year?"

No. Once you register, you are permanently registered unless:

  • You are purged from the system (A voter in inactive status who dose not vote in two consecutive Federal Elections is in the fifth year, removed from the list of register. The voter must re-register in order to vote.)
  • Convicted of a Felony.
  • Adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
  • See page 5.

Name, address or party enrollment changes can be made by submitting a new registration application. If you move, you should notify the Board of Elections in the City of New York as soon as possible, by re-registering. The Board of Elections in the City of New York will transfer the registration and enrollment of any voter for whom it receives a notice of change of address to another address in New York City, or for any voter who casts a ballot in an affidavit ballot envelope which sets forth the new address, process change of enrollment form invalid affidavit ballot envelope. If the Board of Elections in the City of New York receives notice at least twenty days before a Primary, Special or General election, it must complete the change of address before the election.

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"How Will I Know Where To Vote?"

You should receive a notice from the Board of Elections in the City of New York some time in August, telling you where to vote. It will also indicate your Election District / Assembly District number which you need to know on Election Day. Or, you can e-mail your complete home address to vote@boe.nyc.ny.us (please put in the subject line the borough in which you reside).

Click here to use The Online Poll Site Address Locator

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"How Do Candidates Get On The Ballot?"

In New York State, most candidates get on the ballot by filing a petition containing a specified number of signatures. The required amount varies, depending on the office sought and whether the candidate is seeking a party nomination or a spot on the ballot as an independent. Some candidates are nominated by political committees and conventions.

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"Who Can Sign A Petition?"

Only enrolled party members living within the appropriate district may sign petitions for candidates who seek their party's nomination. However, any registered voter living within the appropriate district may sign a petition for a candidate seeking to run as an independent in the general election as long as s/he has not already signed on behalf of another candidate.

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"Should I Be Concerned About Signing A Petition?"

Absolutely not! Signing a petition is an important way to participate in the electoral process.

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"What Is A Primary Election?"

A primary is an election that may take place within each of New York State's official political parties. It precedes the general election and provides enrolled political party members the opportunity to nominate their party's candidates for elected office as well as to elect various party officials. However, if there is no contest, there is no primary.

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"Why Should I Enroll In A Political Party?"

Enrolled party members who help nominate candidates by signing petitions and voting in the primary have greater political clout than non-enrolled voters who can vote only in the general election. Moreover, you are not obligated to vote for your party's candidate in the general election. In November, you may vote for any candidate from any party.

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"How Do I Enroll In A Political Party?"

You voluntarily enroll in any party by indicating your preference on the voter registration form either at the same time that you register to vote or by re-registering or if you have indicated such a change on an Invalid Affidavit Ballot

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"What Happens If I Can't Vote On Election Day?"

If you will be out of town on Primary, General, Special Election day or are physically unable to go to the polls, you can vote by absentee ballot.

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"How Can I Get An Absentee Ballot?"

Absentee ballot applications can be obtained by writing the Board of Elections, calling toll-free 1-866-VOTE-NYC or (212) VOTE-NYC, e-mailing your request to vote@boe.nyc.ny.us (please put in the subject line the borough in which you reside) or visit our absentee page. You can download this form from our website.

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"How Do I Mark A Paper Ballot"

Be sure to follow the directions that are printed on a paper ballot. Paper ballots are canvassed by scanning them with machines therefore you must mark them correctly for your vote to count. Just fill in the oval next to or above your choice. Fill in the ovals with a pen with blue or black ink. Do not make any marks anywhere on the ballot, if you want to vote for someone whose name does not appear on the ballot you may write his or her name in the write-in box and fill in the oval on that write-in box. If there are propositions up for vote, you will find them on the back of the ballot. Mark your vote by filling in the oval next to either "yes" or "no".

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"I'm Disabled. Where Can I Vote?"

Almost all poll sites are now accessible to the handicapped. All will be by January 1, 2013. If yours is not, you may ask to have your records transferred to a nearby accessible poll site 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, special and general election. Click Here for information.

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"What Do I Need When I Go To Vote?"

The "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) which was enacted into law in 2002, requires all first time voters to provide additional identification either on or with the voter registration application, i.e., the driver's license number, non- driver’s ID number or the last four digits of your social security number. If you do not provide your driver’s license number or the last four digits of your social security number at the time you submit your registration form by mail, you can include a copy of any of the following documentation with your registration application: Current and Valid Photo ID; Current Utility Bill; Bank Statement; Government Check or Paycheck; Government Document that shows Name and Address. If the voter has not provided any of the acceptable forms of identification by the time they vote in an Election, the voter will not be allowed to vote on the poll site scanner, but will be able to vote by affidavit ballot. The voter will not be denied the right to vote.

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"What Do I Do When I Get To The Poll Site?"

When you enter poll site, you'll see tables for one or more election districts (E.D.). At the table for your E.D. you will be asked to sign above to a facsimile of your original signature on an alphabetical computerized poll-list. You will than be given a paper ballot and be directed to a privacy booth mark you ballot and take it to the scanner.

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"What If I'm Not Permitted To Vote?"

If you are not on the poll-list, ask the inspector to verify that you are at the proper table for your address. Make sure that it is your correct Election and Assembly District. It may be because your registration form was not received by the deadline or, for a primary, because you aren't enrolled in a party. If you believe that you are eligible, you can still vote. Ask for an affidavit ballot. After the election, the Board of Elections in the City of New York will check its records and your vote will be counted if you are indeed eligible to vote and are at the correct poll site. If not, you will receive a notice that you are not eligible, along with a registration application for future elections.

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"How Does the Scanner Work?"

http://www.votethenewwayny.com/en/default.aspx

INSTRUCTION PERTAINING TO SCANNING MACHINE

  • Take your ballot to the scanning area
  • Select the language of your choice
  • Insert ballot

INSTRUCTION PERTAINING TO BMD- BALLOT MARKING DEVICE

  • Video on BMD
  • The BMD provides two ways for voters to access the ballot:
    • See the ballot on the screen
    • Listen to the ballot through audio headphones
  • Touch screen
  • Key paid ( Braille )
  • Sip & Puff Device
  • Rocker Paddle

After completing your ballot, review you selection. To change a selection, select contest or issues you would like to change and reselect the proper choice. Select "Next" to return to the summary screen

  • When finished select "next" select "mark ballot" to print you mark ballot
  • Take your printed ballot to the scanner area

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"Suppose I Need Help?"

If you need some help because you are disabled or cannot read the ballot, federal law allows you to have a friend or relative assist you in the privacy booth. Election inspectors at the site are also ready to help you.

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"If I Register To Vote, Will I Be Called For Jury Duty?"

Jurors are drawn from lists of state taxpayers and licensed drivers as well as from voter registration rolls. Do not give up your right to vote in the hope that you will avoid jury duty. Chances are, if you pay taxes or drive a car, you will still be called. Besides, serving on a jury is a privilege, one that permits you to personally stand up for all Americans' right to a trial by a jury of their peers.

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"Can A Felony Conviction Affect My Right To Vote?"

You may not register or vote, if you have been convicted of a felony and for that felony:

  • You are currently incarcerated; or
  • You are under parole supervision.

You may register and vote if you were convicted of a felony and for that felony:

  • You were sentenced to probation;
  • You were not sentenced to incarceration or your prison sentence was suspended;
  • You have served your maximum prison sentence; in which case you are able to re-register to vote
  • You were on parole and then discharged, in which case you are able to re-register to vote
  • You have received a pardon

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"Can A Misdemeanor Conviction Affect My Right to Vote?"

You may register and vote, even from jail, if you have been convicted of only a misdemeanor.

The same rules apply whether you were convicted in a New York court, another state’s court or a federal court.

You do not need to provide any documentation about your criminal record in order to register and vote.

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