Voter Registration

To register to vote, federal law requires that voters be at least 18 years of age by the time of the general election and citizens of the United States. Specific state eligibility requirements and information on registering are available from local election boards.

Upcoming Elections and Other Important Dates

COVID-19 UPDATE

Please Note: As of May 5th, a U.S. District Court ruled that New York State must hold a presidential primary election on June 23rd. New York State is currently appealing this decision. This site will will be updated with new information as it becomes available. 

However, there are several other federal and state elections that will still take place on June 23rd in 42 out of the 62 NYS counties where there is a competitive election.  

On April 9, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing for all New Yorkers to have the option of voting by absentee ballot for the June 23rd elections. On April 24th, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an additional executive order instructing the NYS Board of Elections to mail every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot. 

If you are registered in New York and wish to vote by absentee ballot due to COVID-19 concerns, you must fill out an absentee ballot application (in English or in Spanish), check the box for “Temporary illness or physical disability” and send the application to your county board of elections office by mail, email, or fax no later than the seventh day before the election. 

Here is more information about voting in New York by absentee ballot for the June 23rd primary election. 

If you are note registered in New York but would like to learn more about voting in your home state, please visit Columbia Turbo Vote

Addition Election Dates

June 23, 2020 – New York State and Federal Primary Elections NOTE: The NY State Presidential Primary has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. 


The Early Voting period will be June 13, 2020 – June 21, 2020.

For a listing of all 2020 primary dates, visit the NCSL website.

November 3, 2020 – General Election day
The Early Voting period for the November General Election in New York will be October 24, 2020- November 1, 2020.

How to Register to Vote in New York

Voter registration forms are available at our offices, located at 302 Low Library. Other resources can be found below.

New York City Board of Elections: New York City Board of Elections provides information on upcoming elections, polling locations, and how to become a poll worker.   

Columbia Turbo Vote: Columbia Turbo Vote is a tool that makes it easy to register and vote for hometown issues while away at College.

Who's on the Ballot: Who’s on the Ballot provides New York City residents information on polling places, candidates, sample ballots and voter registration information. Who’s on the Ballot is a not-for profit project of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

New York State Board of Elections: New York State Board of Elections provides information on campaign finance rules, voter registration forms, and enrollment verification to confirm your voter registration. Not sure if you're registered to vote in New York State? Visit the NYS Voter Registration search to find out.

How to Register to Vote in Other States 

Most states allow voters to submit a National Mail Voter Registration form. Registration forms, state requirements and information on candidates and issues are available from a number of sites, including Congress.org.

For a state by state listing of voter registration deadlines and requirements for both primary and general elections, please go to Project Vote Smart and select your home state from the voter registration drop down menu.  

Columbia Turbo Vote is a tool that makes it easy to register and vote for hometown issues while away at College.

Absentee Ballots

Students living away from home can register either at their home or school address, depending on state law. If you have already registered at home, and you want to register at your school address, you must fill out a local registration form and make note that it is a change of address. It is important to update your registration each time you move. 

If you are registered at your home address while you're at school, and wish to cast your ballot in your home district, remember to request an absentee ballot at least 30 days before the election. Check with your state election board for the exact deadline. If you have any questions regarding voter registration, please call the office at 212-854-5915.

If you wish to register at your school address, be sure to use the postal address of your dorm building as your home address, not your campus mail box.

General Voter Education

For additional resources and information on voting in local and national elections, please visit the following sites: