The following information will help you to decide whether to register and vote in your home district/state or at your college address. There are many good reasons for registering and voting at either residence, but keep in mind, in most cases the final choice is really yours. You can, of course, register and vote in only one locality – either at your home address or at your college address.
notbe on parolefor a felony unless youare on paroleand received a conditionalvotingrestorationpardon, orhavebeen issued a CertificateofRelieffromDisabilitiesor CertificateofGoodConduct
not be currentlyadjudgedmentallyincompetent orincapacitatedby a court
notclaim the righttovoteelsewhere
Ifyouarein college, the followinginformation will help youdecide whethertoregister and vote in your home district/stateor atyourcollegeaddress.Therearemanygoodreasonsforregisteringand votingat either residence, butkeepin mind, in most cases the final choice is yours.Somestatesdo notallowcollegestudentstovotewheretheyattendcollegeif theyarenotpermanentresidents in thatstate.Check with the town or city clerk or the countyboardofelections in yourcollegecommunityto find out if youmayvotefromyourcollegeaddress.Youmayonly registerand vote in one location – either atyour home address or atyourcollegeaddress.
In making the choice where to register to vote, you should consider that, while you might have a close relationship with and interest in your home community, you also have a stake in the local issues of your college community. Issues such as off-campus housing and zoning restrictions, the environment, taxes, transportation and personal safety all affect your quality of living. Voting in your college community also is more convenient and relieves you of the need to apply for and return an absentee ballot. Every voter needs to have information about the issues and the candidates. Registering and voting at college can give you the opportunity to become involved with, and informed about, the local issues in your college town or city. Becoming involved in the issues, and learning about local politics, are some of the ways in which you can begin to build a relationship with other residents of the community. If you consider the college community your primary residence, you should register to vote in that community.
Although there have been some historical challenges to the residency of college students by some involved in elections in New York State, the county boards of election have become aware of the legal issues involved in questioning or challenging students about their current or future intentions for residing in the college locality. If you are concerned about how you will be treated when submitting your voter registration application in your college community, check with your campus student affairs office, NYPIRG chapter, or other student organizations involved in political activity. You can also check with the town/city clerk the county board of elections, or local League of Women Voters.
Students live in their college towns anywhere from nine to 12 months of the year, for at least four years. This means that students are no more transient than the average American family, which typically moves once every four years. Moreover, the U.S. Census Bureau considers students to be residents of their college community. Federal funds are distributed to municipalities based on figures that include the student population. Students contribute to the college community in many valuable ways. They work as volunteers in a host of civic organizations, help to create jobs in the community, bolster the local economy, and pay sales and gasoline taxes.
You may register in person at your local board of elections or at any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year. You may register by mail. Forms are available from your county board of elections, town and city halls, post office, political parties, various state offices, and the League of Women Voters. Contact the League of Women Voters of New York State - 1-866-LWVNYS1, the New York State Board of Elections - 1-800-FOR-VOTE, or your county board of elections to have a voter registration form sent to you. You may also download a voter registration form in New York State. Go to www.elections.ny.gov to find an online voter registration form that you can download.
You should receive in the mail before the election a card that informs you of your polling place. If you do not receive such a card, call your local board of elections and ask them:
Am I registered to vote?
Is my registration status “Active”? If not, what is it?
Will my name appear in the polling place roll book on Election Day?