Important Information on Voting in the New York City Area
The 2000 general elections are being held on Tuesday, November 7. In New York State, polls open at 6 am and close at 9 pm.
To register to vote in New York State you must: be a U.S. citizen; be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you file this form (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the 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 and; not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
For further information, contact:
New York State Board of Elections
Voter RegistrationGeneral Election
Change of Address
Notices of change of address from registered voters received by October 18 by a county board of elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for the general election.
New York Metropolitan County Boards of Election
New York County Board of Elections (Manhattan residents)
Bronx County Board of Elections
Queens County Board of Elections
Kings County Board of Elections (Brooklyn residents)
Richmond County Board of Elections (Staten Island residents)
Nassau County Board of Elections
Suffolk County Board of Elections
Westchester County Board of Elections
Rockland County Board of Elections
Orange County Board of Elections
Voting by Absentee Ballot in New York State
You may vote by absentee ballot if you will be:
Deadlines: Voting by Absentee BallotFor General Elections
Oct. 31 Last day to postmark application or letter of application for ballot.
Nov. 6 Last day to apply in person for ballot.
Nov. 6 Last day to postmark ballot. Must be received by the board of elections no later than Nov. 14.
Nov. 7 Last day to deliver ballot in person to the board of elections.
Frequently Asked Questions about Voting in New York State(Provided by NYS Board of Elections)
"Who Can Vote?"
You must be a registered voter in order to vote in the general or primary elections. To register, you must be a United States citizen, be 18 years old by the date of the election you want to vote, live at your present address for at least 30 days before an election, not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction, and not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
"Where Can I Get a Mail Registration Application?"
E-mail your mailing address to email@example.com or call (212) VOTE-NYC (868-3692) and ask to have a postage-paid application sent to you. You may also pick one up at your local post office, library or motor vehicle office.
"Can I Register in Person?"
Yes. Many public agencies are now providing voter registration forms and assistance. You can also register at 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 (212) VOTE-NYC to see if your application was processed.
"Do I Have to Register Every Year?"
No. Once you register, you are permanently registered. Name, address or party enrollment changes can be made by submitting a new registration application. If you move, you must notify the Board of Elections within 25 days by re-registering.
"How Will I Know Where to Vote?"
You should receive a postcard from the Board of Elections some time in August, telling you where to vote. Watch for it! It will also indicate your election district number which you need to know on election day. Or, you can e-mail your complete home address to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll respond with your appropriate polling place.
"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.
"Who Can Sign a Petition?"
Only enrolled party members 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 he or she has not already signed on behalf of another candidate.
"Should I be Concerned About Signing a Petition?"
Absolutely not! The reluctance of some to sign petitions makes it difficult for those without strong political party backing to get the requisite number of signatures and run for elected office. Signing a petition is an important way to participate in the electoral process.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"What Happens if I Can't Vote on Election Day?"
If you will be out of town on election day or are physically unable to go to the polls, you can vote by absentee ballot.
"How Can I Get an Absentee Ballot?"
Absentee ballot applications can be obtained by writing the Board of Elections, calling (212) VOTE-NYC, or e-mailing your request to email@example.com.
"I'm Disabled. Where Can I Vote?"
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.
"What Do I Need When I Go to Vote?"
Nothing. Just appear at the polling place indicated on the card you get from the Board of Elections between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on election day. You need not show any identification or your card from the Board of Elections in order to vote.
"What Do I Do When I Get to the Polling Place?"
When you enter the polling place, you'll see tables and voting machines for one or more election districts (E.D.). At the table for your E.D. you will be asked to sign next to a facsimile of your original signature on an alphabetical computerized poll-list.
"What if I'm Not Permitted to Vote?"
If you are not on the poll-list, it may be because your registration form was not received 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, which is basically a paper ballot. After the election, the Board of Elections will check its records and your vote will be counted if you are indeed eligible to vote. If not, you will receive a notice that you are not eligible, along with a registration application for future elections.
"How Do Voting Machines Work?"
When you enter the voting booth, pull the large red handle to activate the machine. Do not move it until you have completed your selections. You have three minutes in which to vote. Make your selections by moving the lever next to the name of each candidate you wish to vote for until an 'X' appears. You can change your mind and move the levers up and down as often as necessary. However, once your choices are made, leave them down and pull the large red handle to register and count your vote.
"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 voting booth. Election employees at the polling place are also ready to help you.
"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.
Felony Conviction: How it Affects Your Right to VoteYou cannot register for or vote in an election if:
You can register for or vote in an election if:
In order to be eligible to register one must be a citizen of the united states. A permanent resident, a green card holder or a person who is in this country on a visa is not eligible to register to vote until he or she obtains citizenship.
Requirements for CitizenshipAge
An applicant for citizenship must be 18 years of age and a lawful, permanent resident of the United States.
Length of Citizenship
Voter Registration Form
-- NYC Board of Elections 1/99
Voting in New Jersey
Who Can Register
To register in New Jersey you must be: a US citizen, at least 18 years old on or before the next election, residing at your present address for at least 30 days. You are not eligible to register or vote if you are on parole or probation, or if you are serving a prison sentence for violating State or Federal law.
Where to Register
Applications for registration can be obtained from the Division of Elections, the Commissioners of Registration office in the County where you live or from your Municipal Clerk. Registration forms are also available in various State agencies and at Division of Motor Vehicle offices and can be obtained while transacting agency business.
For more information about voter registration, voting, civic participation and educational programs write to:
The Secretary of the State's Office
Back to the October 2000 Issue of Body Positive Magazine.
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.