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Young people have the power to make a big difference at the polls. Make your voice heard this election!

Voting Eligibility:

In order to be able to vote in any election, individuals must comply with all of the following:

  • 18 years of age or older at the time of the election
  • A US citizen (born in the US, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the US Virgin Islands)
  • You may not be convicted of a felony charge or currently serving a court-ordered jail sentence
  • Not be adjudged as mentally incompetent by a court of law

New York: 

Voting Eligibility for New York City:  

Individuals must meet all of the above eligibility requirements and must also:

  • Have established NYC residency (hold a NYC address) for at least 30 days before applying to be a registered NYC voter (residence halls are included in this criteria)
  • Terminate your right to vote elsewhere, if you are registered*

*According to NYC Election Board officials this can be done by written communication the county Board of Elections where you are currently registered.  You must indicate in writing that you would like to waive the right to vote in that county as you have been registered to vote in NYC where you are currently domiciled.

New York City Residents: For more information on how to register to vote, updating your party affiliation or current address, important dates and deadlines, poll sites, or ways to get involved, please consult the NYC Board of Elections website.  

New York State Residents: If you are not a New York City resident, please visit the The New York State Board of Elections website.  

Important Dates and Deadlines: 

November 8, 2016 GENERAL ELECTION DAY (2016 Presidential Election): If you are unaware of your polling station in NYC, please go to NYC Board of Elections Polling Sites Locator website.

Important Deadlines: If you wish to transfer your voter registration or register to vote in NYC, you must register online or download and mail your completed registration 25 days prior to the general election on November 8, 2016.  For guaranteed security, we recommend doing so before Tuesday, October 11, 2016.  


Non-New York City/State Resident Voter Information:

You have the right to choose where you would like your vote to count, whether that is your home state (your parents address, where you hold a driver’s license, or where you intend to return after school) or where you hold an address or live during the school year.

Please note, if you wish to be able to go to a polling station for this election, you will need to change your voter registration to NYC by October 11, 2016.  If so you otp to change your voter registration to NYC, you will also need to contact the county where you were previously register to vote and in writing inform them of your decision to change your vote and desire to terminate the ability to vote in that county.  

If you do not desire to change your voter registration, and you want your vote to count in your home state, you are entitled to an absentee ballot.  

What is an absentee ballot?   

Any individual who is currently registered to vote has the right to vote even if they cannot make it to their home polling station on the day of election.  Absentee ballots are sometimes referred to as “mail-in” voting, as you are able to do so remotely from where you are residing.  Each state has different deadlines/requirements for absentee voting, thus it is best to consult to determine what your home state requires.  

How do I know where I am registered to vote, or if I’ve updated my voter registration since I’ve moved?

Columbia University offers a service known as Columbia TurboVote to all students.  This is a user-friendly, interactive site for students; they are able to register to vote, determine where they are currently registered to vote, and update their voter registration information.  


Additional Resources:


Voting Resources