There just a few days remaining until the polls open for the 2016 General Election!
We know that there's a lot of information out there regarding voting-day details and some confusion, too! We've put together some information and great resources that will help you get out there and vote.
Am I Registered?
If you are asking yourself this question, it's okay! Sometimes we aren't sure if we are registered or we have some questions about where we are registered.
NY state makes it possible to look up if we are registered and where we are registered!
Another important reason to check your status is to make sure your registration is active! Here are possible reasons you may be considered an inactive voter:
- you have not voted for several years
- you moved residence outside the city or county in which you are registered
- you have been convicted of a felony
But, not all hope is lost if that has happened! In this scenario, you can vote with an affidavit ballot, which is an option when you may be eligible to vote but cannot submit a regular ballot at the polls.
How to Vote NYC [When & Where]?
The polls open on November 8th at 6:00 am and close on November 8th at 9:00pm.
This is a great question and not as straight forward as people think!
NYC's Poll Site Locator
NYC has an awesome resource where you can look up where you can vote based on your address. You can vote ONLY at your designated polling place.
- Look up where you can vote here
Just remember that you have to vote in the county where you are registered to vote.
If you have moved, you need to request an absentee ballot. The date for the mail-in application has passed, but you can drop off the form in-person up until the day before the election. To download the form and find out the exact days & dates, please visit NYC's absentee voting information.
What Do I Bring?
People frequently ask if they need to bring a government I.D. to their polling site in order to be able to vote. There are only specific scenarios that require you to bring identification:
- HAVA -- "Help America Vote Act" of 2002 requires all first time voters to provide a DMV identification number or social security number when you register to vote. If you do not provide this information when you register online or via mail before election day then YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO SHOW IDENTIFICATION AT YOUR POLLING SITE!
- All other voters that have already provided the necessary identification & are not first time voters are not required to bring i.d. with you to vote!
Who's On the Ballot?
This is another great question!
Sometimes we hear so much about presidential candidates that we don't hear much about our local candidates that are also on the ballot. These candidacies are really important, too! Luckily, you can easily find out who will be on your ballot when you go to vote and learn more about their platforms and positions.
Look it up and see who is talking about the issues that are important to you!
You can find out here who is on your ballot based on where you live and where you will be voting.
What About Accessibility?
It's incredibly important to know if you will be able to access your polling site or have access to services that will help you cast your vote if you need them! Far too often, people have not been able to have their voice heard because of unfair barriers.
If you are aware that your local polling site is inaccessible or poses barriers you can call the Board of Elections Offices to notify them, complain, or ask for accommodation.
Since NY State implemented HAVA in 2008, there has been more of an effort to make voting accessibile:
- Installation of curb cuts to assist voters with wheelchairs in gaining access from street level
- Construction of building ramps or temporary ramps for voters with canes or wheelchairs
- Miscellaneous repairs to doors, handrails, light fixtures, and walkways
- For voters who cannot see or read the ballot text, an audio interface recites the ballot, including all contests and candidates, and allows the voter to make selections. It also verifies selections by reciting them back to the voter.
- For voters with some form of visual impairment, a key pad with Braille enables the voter to navigate through the ballot and record their vote.
- For voters who are unable to use a pen, or who are quadriplegic or paraplegic, a “sip and puff” device allows them to navigate the ballot and make their selections.
- For voters with limited manual dexterity, accessible “paddles”, access pads, foot pads and buttons allow them to navigate the ballot and make selections.
So, now that things are a little clearer...get out and vote!