The most important thing you can do for your family today is register to vote, and then vote in the elections.
Latins tend to vote less than other American communities. We just complain a lot that our government doesn’t serve us. Better to stop complaining and do something about it. A few recent election have been won by just a handful of votes. Your vote matters.
In New York City:
- You can register to vote online, by mail or in person.
- You can register to vote in English or Spanish.
- You can request an absentee ballot.
We recommend vote.org, a non-governmental organization that helps you register to vote, check your registration, get an absentee ballot or get election reminders. You can use vote.org in any state.
Checking your registration is important because politicians have been removing voters from the voter rolls to prevent minorities from voting. That’s not fair and it’s not the American way that we were raised to believe in.
Check your registration so you won’t be disappointed on election day.
Registering to Vote in 2020
Primary election deadline: March 27, 2020
General election deadline: October 9, 2020
National Voter Registration Day
Tuesday, September 20, 2020 ~ You can register to vote at any New York Public Library on the fourth Tuesday in September.
Registering to Vote in 2019
To vote in the November 5, 2019 General Election, you must register by Friday, October 11, 2019.
The 2019 New York City elections are for civil court, supreme court and District 45 City Council (Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Marine Park, Flatlands and Kensington).
The 2019 New York State elections are for special state legislative, local judges, school boards, municipal government and local ballot measures.
You might think this is a minor election cycle, but it is good practice for the big one in 2020.
This may be obvious, but many of us never bothered to figure it out.
Who is Eligible to Vote?
- Voters must be U.S. citizens including those born in Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- You must be at least 18 years old by election day.
- You must not be in prison or on parole for a felony. Probation is okay.
- You must not be judged mentally incompetent by a court.
- You can only vote in one place.
Can you do something if you are Not Eligible to Vote?
If you are not a citizen (yet), you might think that all of this doesn’t matter.
But your children, nephews and nieces are able to vote (or will be when they turn 18). If we do not teach them how the U.S. system works, and the importance of voting, they may never become voters.
If you have family members in other states, talk to them about the importance of voting. Elections are often won or lost in two or three states. If we don’t vote, someone else will decide how we live.
Your vote matters
The Election Cycle
We have a four-year election cycle.
Year 1 – State and local elections
Year 2 – “Mid-term” congressional elections
Year 3 – State and local elections
The most people vote in the presidential elections every four years. Less people vote the “mid-term” elections for congress halfway between presidential elections. Even fewer people vote in the state and local elections in the first and third years of the election cycle. But all elections are important.
State and local elections may have more of an impact on your day-to-day life than presidential elections.
Primary and General Elections
Our elections have two parts:
- Primary elections decide who will represent each political party
- General elections are the final vote between political parties
Each state decides when to hold primary elections, but in general elections, everyone votes at the same time.
Many of us don’t think primary elections are important and only vote in the general election. But politicians have designed some districts so their party always wins. In these districts, whoever wins the primary basically wins the general election. That makes primaries important.
Register to Vote Online
Register to Vote by Mail
To ask that a voter registration form be mailed to you, call 1-800-FOR-VOTE
Register to Vote in Person
Register to vote in person at a New York DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), NY County Board of Elections location, or other voter registration center.
These county boards manage election paperwork:
New York County Board of Elections
200 Varick St, 10th Floor (Hudson Square/SoHo)
New York, NY 10014
Kings County Board of Elections
345 Adams Street – 4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Bronx County Board of Elections
1780 Grand Concourse, 5th Floor
Bronx, NY 10457
Queens County Board of Elections
118-35 Queens Boulevard
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Richmond County Board of Elections
1 Edgewater Plaza, 4th Floor
Staten Island, NY 10305
You can vote by absentee ballot if you are out of New York City, are ill or the primary caregiver of someone who is ill or disabled, in a Veterans Administration hospital, or in jail for a non-felony offense.
Absentee ballots must be requested by mail received seven days before the election, or in person the day before the election.
For more information, visit www.elections.ny.gov
Voting rules vary by state. For information about voting in all states, visit NGO (non-governmental organization) www.vote.org
Don’t vote for us. Vote for your children.