Who can vote
- be a citizen of the United States
- be a resident of the county, or of the City of New York, at least 30 days before an election
- be 18 years old (you may pre-register at 16 or 17 but cannot vote until you are 18)
- not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction (unless parolee pardoned or restored rights of citizenship)
- not currently be judged incompetent by order of a court of competent judicial authority
- not claim the right to vote elsewhere
- *find more information on voting rights restoration here
Online voter registration
- New York offers online voter registration.
- You should know: you need a NY State driver license, permit or Non-Driver ID issued by the DMV to use New York’s online voter registration system AND a social security number. The address listed on your ID needs to match where you’re registering to vote. If you don’t have a New York-issued ID, or prefer to register at a different address, you can still register by mail to vote.
- You can register online to vote until Friday, October 9, 2020.
By-mail voter registration
Use the New York voter registration form
You can also register to vote using the New York voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Friday, October 9, 2020.
Use the National Voter Registration Form
- Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
- Box 6 – ID Number: Federal law requires that you provide your New York driver’s license number to register to vote. If you do not have a driver’s license then you will have to provide at least the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you have neither, please write “NONE” on the form. A unique identifying number will be assigned to you by your State.
- Box 7 – Choice of Party: You can only vote in a partisan primary in New York if you are a registered member of that party. You should register with the party whose primary you would like to vote in.
- Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: Leave blank. This information is not required.
- Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
- Sign the form.
- Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Friday, October 9, 2020.
- If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes: A current and valid photo identification or A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address. More information here.
Election Day registration
In-person voter registration
- You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in person is Friday, October 9, 2020.
- Learn more by visiting the State Board of Elections for New York or contacting your local election official.
- To be eligible to vote in the General Election, your application must be received no later than October 9, 2020. If honorably discharged from the US Military or have become a naturalized US Citizen after October 9, 2020, you may register in person at the Board of Elections up until October 24, 2020.
Get step-by-step help
Military and overseas voters
- Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
- Send the application to your election official.
- It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
- Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
- 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
- 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
- 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
- States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
- You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
- If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
Check your voter registration status
Dates and deadlines
- Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
- The deadline to register online to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020.
- The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Friday, October 9, 2020.
- The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020.
- The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
- The early voting period runs from Saturday, October 24, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.