Words by Brahmjot Kaur
Graphics by Aspasia Celia Tsampas
Let’s cut to the chase, voter registration for New York state ends Friday, October 11, 2019. If you want to vote in the 2019 General Elections, you need to complete your voter registration forms by October 11, 2019, if you choose to drop it off at your county’s Board of Elections.
If you can’t find the time to head over there, you are in luck! The City College chapter of NYPIRG has made it their mission to assist students on campus with their voter registration forms until THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2019 at 5:30 PM at NAC 1/120. Whether in the NAC Rotunda, your classrooms, or NAC 1/120, they are more than happy to assist you with your voter registration form.
“Voting is one of the very few things we actually have as a freedom to be able to change our society,” Alyssa Clark, the Project Coordinator for NYPIRG at CCNY, told The Campus. “If you are eligible to vote… you can use that power to actually make change,” she explained.
Here are a few things to note about voter registration in New York:
- You must be a United States citizen to be eligible to vote. If you are not eligible, DO NOT put any information on a voter registration form.
- New York State has a CLOSED PRIMARY. This means, only democrats can vote in the Democratic Primary and only republicans can vote in the Republican Primary. Independent voters and other party voters cannot vote in either of those primaries.
- The Independent Party is NOT the same as being an independent. If you choose to be an independent (as in no party affiliation), you must check off “No Party” at the bottom when you choose your party on the voter registration form.
- You must have the last four digits of your social security number or your DMV number (i.e. ID number or driver’s license number) when filling out the form.
- You are not REQUIRED to vote once you register to vote. Registering does not necessitate voting!
- You can fill out a voter registration form if you are turning 18 years old by December 31, 2019! This means you DO NOT have to be 18 years old when you register, but you DO have to be 18 years old by Election Day.
Just to clarify, while the voter registration for the 2019 General Elections is due October 11, 2019 (or October 10 for those who will be working with NYPIRG to complete their forms), there are a few other dates and deadlines to keep in mind!
To CHANGE your party before the 2020 Presidential primaries, already-registered voters must submit their voter registration forms by February 14, 2020. If you are a NEW voter AND have NOT registered to a political party before, registration is due 25 days BEFORE the respective primary of whichever party you choose.
According to a representative from the Nassau County Board of Elections, the current primary date is April 28, 2020 for both Republicans and Democrats. It is subject to change, but for now, be aware that all NEW voters who have NEVER registered to a political party before should register before April 3, 2020.
“I know that a lot of folks do feel disenfranchised by the voting system in general [and] the government in general and I definitely get that. But, we have noticed a huge shift when large numbers of people actually register and actually go out to the polls on Election Day. Change does happen, you just have to take control of the factors that you actually have control over to make that change,” Clark said.