The presidential election may be months away, but the primary elections are already underway, and Spectrum is here to remind you to register to vote!
If you’re new to the whole election process, or still haven’t registered to vote, we’re here to guide you through the whole process and answer all your questions. Remember, however, that the New York primary elections are on April 28 and if you are not planning on registering to vote in New York, make sure to check in on when your state’s primary election is going to be held because that will determine your deadline to register.
Registering to vote in New York
To be eligible to vote in New York, you must be 18 years or older and a resident of the state for at least 30 days before the election. You can either choose to vote using your pre-college address, which might mean you’ll have to send an absentee ballot, or you can choose to register with your Columbia address and vote in New York.
You can register to vote online at the following link here, through the Department of Motor Vehicles. This only works if you have a NY DMV-issued ID. Alternatively, you can mail your registration form at least 25 days before election day on April 28. You can either download the form online, or find it at most post offices and government agencies. Finally, you can also register in person at one of the Board of Elections offices listed here. The deadline to register in person is April 3, 2020.
On primary election day, the polls will open at 6:00 a.m. and close at 9:00 p.m. in New York City, giving you plenty of time to go cast your vote.
ColumbiaVotes, a club on campus providing assistance to students registering to vote, will usually organize walks to the closest polling station the day of the election so you should be on the lookout for that. If you want more information about this initiative, you can sign up for their email list on their website.
Casting an absentee ballot
If you are planning on registering or are already registered under your out of state pre-college address, then you should visit your state’s election office website where you’ll find the form to request an absentee ballot. You can find the website by selecting your home state here. Fill out the form, mail it back to the address they instructed, and you’ll receive your ballot by mail. After filling it out, you’ll have to mail it back again.
ColumbiaVotes may also be tabling in the upcoming months to help with registration if you’re still confused about registering and voting with an absentee ballot. They also have envelopes and stamps available if you need them!