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.


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. 

2020 NYS Primary and Presidential Election - Early Voting: June 13-21, Election Day: June 23

Columbia University is proud to serve as an Early Voting site for the 2020 New York Primary and Presidential Election. All registered voters in NYC are assigned to one of 61 early voting locations, to find yours, visit

For information on what's on your ballot, explore the NYC Votes 2020 Voter Guide and visit Who's on The Ballot.

Early Voting Days and Hours 

  • June 13 - 10 AM to 4 PM
  • June 14 - 10 AM to 4 PM
  • June 15 - 7 AM to 3 PM
  • June 16 - 12 PM to 8 PM
  • June 17 - 12 PM to 8 PM
  • June 18 - 10 AM to 6 PM
  • June 19 - 7 AM to 3 PM
  • June 20 - 10 AM to 4 PM
  • June 21 - 10 AM to 4 PM

What to Expect When You Arrive at a Polling Site

  • You are required to wear a mask/face covering when entering any Board of Elections facility and you must maintain at least 6 feet of distance at all times.
  • When you arrive, you'll see tables for election districts (E.D.). If you don't know your E.D., a poll worker can assist. You will be asked to sign above your original signature on an alphabetical computerized poll list. You will then be given a paper ballot and be directed to a privacy booth. After you mark your ballot you will take it to a scanner.
  • As standard procedure, NYPD officers will be at all polling sites to ensure ballots are not tampered with and no inappropriate electioneering takes place.

2020 General Election - Early Voting: October 24-November 1; Election Day: November 3, 2020

Please check back to this site for more information on the upcoming General Election. Additional details will be posted as they become available.  

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

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: