Friday is the deadline to register to vote by mail or online in New York. State law also allows a one-day grace period for in-person registration during presidential election years, and there will be multiple locations around the city on Saturday to get your name on the voting rolls in time for Nov. 8.
Please do it. It’s your constitutional right.
For those New Yorkers who remain unmotivated by the 2016 presidential race to register, remember that candidates for Congress and the State Legislature are also on the ballot.
It’s not difficult. The New York State and New York City Board of Elections websites — as well as my.dmv.ny.gov — let you complete and submit an online form by 11:59 p.m. Friday. Or you can print the form and mail it, but the postmark must meet the same deadline.
These forms also can be used to change your party registration. The deadline to vote in 2017 primary races is Friday, too — with the same one-day in-person extension on Saturday. So if you want to vote in next year’s mayoral primaries, but you’re not registered with a party, or think you might want to switch parties, you’ll have to register your new party now.
On Saturday, registration will be held in dozens of schools and a few local centers across the five boroughs. A full list can be found on the BOE’s website.
Early voting for president and other offices is already underway in 37 states, often through the use of absentee ballots. In New York, residents registered to vote but who will be away from the city on Election Day have until Nov. 1 to request a ballot by mail. In-person requests, as well as returning your ballot on the spot, can be done at the Board of Elections from now until election eve on Nov. 7.
Reports this week that on-demand absentee ballots were being improperly withheld because of bureaucratic miscommunication were an unfortunate reminder of the Board of Elections’ missteps during the April primary. The absentee confusion seems to have been cleared up. We hope that portends a smooth Election Day at the polls, honoring this critical civic right.
Your vote is your voice, and it can make a difference.