Voter Registration

New York State 2020 Voter Registration Deadlines

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.

2020 General Election

Early Voting in New York City will take place from October 24 - November 1. Columbia University is proud to serve as an Early Voting location on the Morningside and CUIMC campuses. To find your polling location in New York City, visit findmypollsite.vote.nyc.

Below are the Early Voting Days and Hours for November 3, 2020 General Election: 

  • Saturday, October 24, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Sunday, October 25, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Monday, October 26, 2020 7 AM to 3 PM
  • Tuesday, October 27, 2020 12 PM to 8 PM 
  • Wednesday, October 28, 2020 12 PM to 8 PM
  • Thursday, October 29, 2020 10 AM to 6 PM 
  • Friday, October 30, 2020 7 AM to 3 PM 
  • Saturday, October 31, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Sunday, November 1, 2020 10 AM to 4 PM
  • Election Day: November 3, 2020

How to Register to Vote in New York 

New York State offers online voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles. You can register online to vote in the upcoming 2020 General Elections up until October 9th. You can change your address or make other updates to your voter information through the DMV up until October 14th for the 2020 General Election.

Not sure if you're registered to vote in New York State? Visit the NYS Voter Registration search to find out.

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

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 Vote.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 in New York 

if you are registered in New York, you can apply online for an absentee ballot now by visiting nycabsentee.comIf you are applying for an absentee ballot due to infection of COVID-19 or the potential or contracting the virus, please check the box for “Temporary Illness”. The definition has been temporarily expanded to include "a risk of contracting or spreading a disease" such as COVID-19.

For more information about absentee ballots in New York, or for a mail-in application for an absentee ballot in different languages, please visit vote.nyc/page/absentee-voting

Absentee Ballots in Other States 

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 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.

Please contact communityaffairs@columbia.edu for questions about absentee voting. 

Additional Voting Resources

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. 

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