Friday is deadline to register to vote

ALBANY, N.Y. - Friday is the final day for New Yorkers to register to vote in the Nov. 8 elections.

Registration can be done online at dmv.ny.gov using the state Department of Motor Vehicles automated online system or at a local board of elections office.
 
Applications can also be done through the mail and must be postmarked no later than Friday and received no later than Oct. 19 to be eligible to vote in the general election.
 
New Yorkers can visit the state Board of Elections website (https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx) to check their voter registration status.
 
Friday is also the deadline to change party enrollment for next year's elections.
 
In addition to voting for the presidency, all 27 congressional seats, a U.S. Senate seat and all 213 posts in the state Legislature will be on the New York ballot.
 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday used the deadline to urge the state to change its laws to make voting more accessible to New Yorkers.
 
He said there are 2 million eligible, but unregistered voters in New York.
 
"Conducting free and fair elections is a sacred duty of government, yet in New York state, the way we hold elections is outdated, underfunded and seems designed to discourage participation," de Blasio said in a statement.
 
Here's five ways he said voting in New York can be improved:
 
Allow Same-Day Voter Registration
 
De Blasio said 13 states and the District of Columbia allow for same-day voter registration, and New York should change its constitution to follow suit.
 
Also, let 16- and 17-year olds the opportunity to pre-register to vote, including in schools, so they are ready to vote when they are 18, he and reform groups said.
 
Early Voting
 
Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia provide for in-person early voting or mail-in voting, but New York doesn't.
 
Reforms groups and de Blasio said the state should pass legislation to allow early voting, including vote by mail and “no-excuse” absentee voting.
 

Electronic Poll Books

The state should consider having electronic poll books at election sites to help voters, improve accuracy and avoid long lines.
 
Thirty-two states use electronic poll books.

 

Consolidation of Primary Elections
 
New York currently can have as many as three primary dates in a year -- for state, presidential and congressional races.
 
Legislation would put all the primaries on the same day, which would encourage participation and lower costs for state and local governments, de Blasio said.
 

Ballot Usability

Improve how the paper ballots look and make them more legible, such as the font size, placement of instructions and placement of candidate names.
 
Doing so would reduce errors in voting, de Blasio and the good-government groups said.
 
To register to vote
 
A New Yorker must:
· Be a United States citizen.
· Be 18 years old by Dec. 31 of the year in which you submit the form, but must be 18 by the date of the general, primary or other elections in which you want to vote.
· Live at their present address at least 30 days before an election.
· Not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
· Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
· Not claim the right to vote elsewhere

 


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