Quick Answers About Registering to Vote
Am I eligible to vote?
To vote in New York State, you must be:
- A United States citizen;
- 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you file your application form. (Note: to vote you must be 18 by the date of the primary, general or other 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;
- not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
How do I register?
You may register in person or by mail. Application forms are available at the Erie County Board of Elections, 134 W. Eagle Street, Buffalo, 14202, (716) 858-7817; Niagara County Board of Elections, 111 Main Street, Suite 100, Lockport, (716) 438-4040 or (716) 438-4041; town halls, post offices, motor vehicle bureaus, various state offices and online.
You may also request an application form at 1-800-VOTE-FORM.
How can I vote if I'm disabled or going out of town?
You may download the New York State Absentee Ballot Form.
You may also request an absentee ballot in writing by sending a letter to the Board of Elections no earlier than 30 days and no later than 7 days before the election. The letter must contain
- the address where you are registered
- an address where the ballot is to be sent
- the reason for the request
- the signature of the voter
An application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.
If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.
If you are permanently disabled, you only have to apply for an absentee ballot once. Simply file an application with the Board of Elections containing a statement which describes the particulars of your illness or disability. After that, you'll get a ballot for every primary (if registered in a political party) and general election.
Can I obtain an absentee ballot if I am in jail?
Yes, if you are detained awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.
Source of New York State information: New York State Board of Elections - Voter Registration FAQs