Voting in New York

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This page has information relating to voting in New York. For full information contact your state election agency.


New York uses a closed primary system, meaning voters must register with a party to be able to vote in their primary election.

To vote in New York, you must meet the following requirements:[1]

  • be a United States 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 general, primary or other election in which you want to vote);
  • live at your present address at least 30 days before an election;
  • not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction and;
  • not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court;
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

When and where

Voters can request an application in the following ways:[1]

  • You can register in person at your county board of elections
  • or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center.
  • You can enter your name directly into our mailing list database to have a New York State Voter Registration Form mailed to you.
  • You can call our 1-800-FOR-VOTE hotline to request a voter application.
  • You can download a PDF version of the New York State Voter Registration Form.

If returned by mail, forms must be postmarked at least 25 days prior to the election. It must then be received by elections officials at least 20 days before the election. Registrations in person must be completed at least 25 days prior to the election as well.[2]

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of November 2014, New York is one of the 15 states that have implemented online voter registration. Residents can register online at this website. New York's online registration is paperless from the user's experience, but it is not fully automated. The voter fills out the online form and submits it electronically to the DMV. The DMV then attaches a digital signature, prints it out and sends it on for processing and review before the voter is added to the statewide database.

Voting on election day

A non-photo form of identification is required to vote on election day.[3]

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Erie, polls open at 6 AM and close at 9 PM. In all other counties, polls open at 12 Noon and close at 9 PM.[4]

Absentee voting


You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:[5]

  • unavoidably absent from your county on election day
  • unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • a patient in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony


Applications must be mailed to the county board of elections no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election. Voters may also request an absentee ballot by sending a letter to their county boards of election. The letter must be received by the county board no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. An application form will be mailed with the absentee ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with the ballot.[5]

If sent by mail, the returned ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election and received no later than the seventh day after the election. If submitted in person, the ballot must be received by close of polls on election day.[6]

Military and overseas voting

For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.

Early voting

New York is one of eight states which allow early voting but require an excuse to vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are available (at least 32 days before election day) and ends the day prior to the election. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.[7][8]

To vote early you need to provide an excuse for why you will be unable to vote at the polls during normal voting hours. The following are valid reasons:[7]

  • unavoidably absent from your county on election day
  • unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • a patient in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony

Proposed Changes

The 2013 New York State Legislature is considering a bill that would create an open early voting period. The bill "would institute early voting for all general, primary and special elections in New York. Under the provisions of this legislation, a 15-day early voting period for general elections and an eight-day early voting period for primary and special elections would be established."[9]

Bill Introduced Assembly Vote Senate Vote Gubernatorial Action
A689 Jan. 9, 2013 in New York Assembly Approveda on April 30, 2013, 96 to 46

See also

External links