Increasing Voter Registration
Voting is a fundamental American right. Every eligible voter deserves a fair opportunity to cast a ballot without too much trouble. Millions of Americans miss this opportunity because they don’t know how to register. This is a nationwide epidemic that we are trying to put to an end.
Voting and LWV
“As the nation’s largest and longest-standing grassroots voter registration organization, our volunteers register hundreds of thousands of voters and host community voter registration drives across the country each year. We concentrate our registration drives at locations that reach large numbers of unregistered voters, including high schools and community colleges, transit hubs and naturalization ceremonies. Each year, we also help tens of thousands of Americans register online at VOTE411.org.”
Our voice matters, so let's use it. Young voters are the future.
Voter eligibility: US Citizen, 18 years old, and registered.
While you can’t vote until you are legally 18, it doesn’t mean you can’t be registered before then. In New York, 16 and 17 year olds can pre register to vote in a variety of ways: voter registration applications online, at a local Board of Elections Office, or the DMV. When you do register, you will be prompted to enroll in one of the four recognized political parties in the state. This isn’t a direct requirement, but in order to vote in a primary, you must be registered with that party. This step of choosing a political party is important because it helps form a young political identity.
Voting For the First Time
Don’t know where to start? Visit Vote411 to create your personalized voters' guide and find everything you need to vote! With your personalized guide, you will see everything that will be on your ballot, compare candidates side by side, and even print out a ballot that you can use on Election Day.
Where Do I Vote?
Once registered and an election rolls around, you need to know where to go! Your nearest polling place can be found here. You can vote on election day or exercise your right to vote before election day on a designated early voting day. Be aware that early voting polling locations are different from your election day polling place and you can visit any one that is convenient!
Know that you won’t be able to make it to the polls? Make sure your voice is heard by voting absentee. This can be a great choice for students away at college. You can request an absentee/mail ballot with one of the following excuses:
- Absent from the county or absent from the five boroughs (if a New York City resident) on Election Day
- Unable to go to the polls due to illness
- Unable to go to the polls due to someone you care for having an illness
- A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital
- Detained in jail or prison for a crime other than a felony
Learn how to request an absentee ballot here. Be sure to get your absentee ballot application in by the deadline - 15 days before the election if requested by mail, the day before the election if requested in person by you or your designee.
Thanks to Bryce Bernbach, LWVNC Youth Intern, for creating the content for this page!