Vote in the 2020 Election: Registering, Deadlines and More

September 29, 2020

Nadir Nelson and Andrea Vasquez (former producer and correspondent for MetroFocus) at Voter Registration Day event on September 27, 2016, at The Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center.

Updated September 29, 2020

You may have the right to vote in the General Election on Tuesday, November 3, but you can’t exercise that right unless your name and current address is on the voter rolls. If you haven’t already confirmed your voter roll status or registered to vote, a fitting date to do it by is Tuesday, September 22, National Voter Registration Day.

If you changed your name, moved, haven’t voted in recent elections or turned 18 recently, update your voter registration, or sign up for the first time by the deadlines indicated in your state, below.

To find out who the candidates are and what measures are up for consideration on your Election day ballot, the site Ballot Ready will get you up to speed after you enter your mailing address.

Jump to information on how to vote in your area by clicking where you live, below:
New York State
New Jersey
Connecticut

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New York State Residents

Voter Registration

Register to vote

Register to vote, check your voting status, learn ways of voting, and more.

The New York State Board of Elections site is the official site on all things related to voting in New York. To see if you are registered to vote in the county you live in and to find poll locations, check this page. 

New York City residents can update their registration in person at one of five borough offices.

You can register to vote in New York State if you are:

  • A citizen of the United States (includes those born in Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
  • A resident of New York and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election.
  • 18 years of age by December 31 of the year in which you file the form (you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, primary or other election in which you want to vote).
  • Not serving a jail sentence or be on parole for a felony conviction.
  • Not deemed mentally incompetent by a court.
  • Not also claiming the right to vote elsewhere.

Ways to Register

  • Register in person at your county board of elections or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center, where you can also pick up a mail-in registration form.
  • The Department of Motor Vehicles has an online DMV Electronic Voter Registration Application. You must have a NYS DMV issued driver license, permit or Non-Driver ID (must be your most recently issued documents); the ZIP Code currently on record with the DMV; and the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Request that a New York State Voter Registration form be mailed to you by entering your name directly into New York State Board of Election database.
  • Call 1-800-FOR-VOTE hotline to request a voter application.
  • Use the online New York State Voter Registration fold-up form and envelope (in English and in Spanish). You can fill in the form online or print the pdf and fill in by hand. In either case, print the pdf, write in your Board of Elections mailing address (all counties’ addresses are listed on form), and mail using a first class stamp.

Voter Registration Deadlines

See this New York State pdf guide to important dates in 2020, including deadlines.

Friday, October 9, 2020 is the last day to register to vote in person and last day to postmark applications for the General Election. Postmarked applications must be received by a board of elections no later than October 14, 2020 to be eligible to vote in the General Election.

Register in person at your local Board of Elections or at any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year. If honorably discharged from the U.S. Military or you have become a naturalized US Citizen as of October 9, 2020, you may register in person at your county Board of Elections through October 24, 2020.

How to Make Changes to Voter Registration Status
To update your name or address, use the voter registration form. Notices of changes from registered voters received by October 14, 2020 by a county Board of Elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for the General Election.

To change your party enrollment or to enroll for the first time in a party, use the voter registration form. A change of enrollment received up until February 14 each year will be effective immediately. Changes received on or after February 15 until seven days after the June primary will be set aside and opened seven days after the primary and entered in the voter’s registration record.

Victims of Domestic Violence
N.Y. Election Law (5-508) allows victims of domestic violence who obtain a court order from NY Supreme Court, Family Court or County Court in the county where they are registered to have their voter registration record kept separate and apart from other registration records and not be made available to anyone except election officials. Under a separate section of the law (11-306), you can also be excused from voting at your polling place and get a special ballot. Contact your local County Board of Elections for their confidential registration and special ballot procedures.

How Do I Vote?


Vote at your polling place on General Election Day (Tuesday, November 3, 2020) or by absentee ballot, or during the Early Voting period from October 24, 2020 to November 1, 2020. Check with your local county board of elections office for early voting locations and hours.

New York State Law allows you to take up to three paid hours off at the beginning or end of your shift to vote on Election Day, as long as you notify your employer at least two days before Election Day.

There are seven ways to apply for an absentee ballot, all described in detail on the New York State Board of Elections Absentee Ballot page,  which also addresses deadlines for absentee ballots and how to cast your ballot. Among the seven ways to obtain your ballot, is in-person at your county Board of Elections.

Absentee Ballot Deadlines

The New York State Board of Elections Absentee Ballot page has deadline information. See this New York State pdf guide to important dates in 2020, including deadlines.

Important NYC Clarifications
The New York City Board of Elections clarified on September 28 that absentee ballots marked “Official Absentee Military Ballot” are valid, even if the voter does not serve in the military (a backslash mark meant to separate “Absentee” and “Military” was not printed, according to reports). The NYC Board of Elections also acknowledged that a vendor error resulted in some New York City voters receiving an “oath envelope” – the security envelope in which to return the completed ballot  – with a name and address printed on it that is not the voter’s. This appears to have happened mostly in Brooklyn. If your absentee ballot includes an enclosed “oath envelope” with the wrong name and address, the Board of Elections asks that you email Apply4Absentee@boe.nyc, call 1-866-VOTE-NYC, or send their Twitter account @BOENYC a direct message

Tuesday, October 27, 2020: To make a request for an absentee ballot, this is the last day to apply online, postmark, email or fax a completed application or letter request. Important note: The U.S. Post Office has advised that they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.
September 18, 2020: Ballots will be mailed out beginning on or about September 18.
Monday, November 2, 2020: Last day to apply in-person for absentee mail-in ballot.  Your ballot must be received by the Board of Elections no later than November 10, 2020 (Military Voter Ballots must be received no later than November 16, 2020).
Tuesday, November 3, 2020: Last day to postmark a mail-in ballot or deliver ballot in-person to the local Board of Elections (by someone other than the voter).

 

 

Where Do I Vote

Vote at your designated local polling place. To find yours, enter your details at this poll-locator site: voterlookup.elections.ny.gov. If you are registered to vote, the search will show your voter district information, your polling location, and confirm your voter registration status on file.

No ID is required to vote at the ballot box in New York, except first-time voters who may have left off information when registering to vote. Read more about voter IDs.

Polling Hours
For the General Election in New York State, the polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

Who Represents Me in the U.S. Congress?

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate collectively form the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. One way to find out who represents you is the search tool on whoismyrepresentative.com. To see who represents your particular voting district, enter your zipcode on the site. To search for all Congresspeople representing New York State, select New York State.

The results show your representatives, each with their photograph, name and political party. All have a link that leads to their Washington, DC, phone number and mailing address, and their own website.

New York City and State Representatives

To find out your New York City Council District number and representative, your Community Board number and chairperson, and borough officials, use www.mygovnyc.org. Results based on your home address will also show your state representatives who convene in Albany, as well as those in the federal government who represent you. All search results include contact information, websites and social media accounts.

 

New Jersey

Voter Registration

To see if you are registered to vote in the county you live in check this page of Elections.NJ.gov.

You can register to vote in New Jersey if you are:

  • A citizen of the United States (includes those born in Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
  • A resident of New Jersey and your county and at your address at least 30 days before the election.
  • 18 years of age by the time of the next election.
  • Not serving a jail sentence or be on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this or another state or of the United States.

Ways to Register

  • Register in person at the Commissioners of Registration office in the county where you live, or at your Municipal Clerk office, or at the Motor Vehicle Commission if you are applying for or renewing a license.
  • Call 1-877-NJVOTER (1-877-658-6837) to have a voter registration form mailed to you. Indicate your county and you’ll be connected to the appropriate office.
  • Get the voter registration form online for your county (or use a statewide form for additional language options), and that form will have the local Board of Election address pre-printed on the form. No postage is necessary to mail the form.

 

Voter Registration Deadline
October 13, 2020 is the voter registration deadline for the General Election on Tuesday, November 3.

How to Make Changes to Your Voter Registration Status
If you have changed your name or New Jersey address, submit a new voter registration application to the Commissioners of Registration office in your county, by mail or in-person. If you have a New Jersey driver’s license, you can also submit your change of address via the Motor Vehicle Commission.

A registered voter currently affiliated with a political party who wishes to change party affiliation must file a Political Party Affiliation Declaration Form at least 55 days before a primary election. Information and forms in multiple languages are found here.

Victims of Domestic Violence
It is important for victims of domestic violence to keep their address private. Call the New Jersey Address Confidentiality Program at 1 (877) 218-9133 to learn how to keep your address confidential on your voter registration form.

How Do I Vote?

If you are already registered to vote, you can vote at your polling place on General Election Day (Tuesday, November 3, 2020), or you can vote by mail (absentee ballot).

Find vote by mail applications, here.  You can also goto the County Clerk office, pick up your application and leave your ballot in-person on same day if you like.

Vote by mail (absentee ballot) deadlines:

October 27, 2020 is the deadline for applying to receive a ballot by mail for the General Election (see your County Clerk office). You can pick up your application and leave your ballot in-person on same day if you like.

October 30, 2020 is the deadline for applying to receive a ballot by mail if you are a qualified overseas citizen or military voter.

November 2, 2020, 3 p.m.: Last day to apply in-person for vote-by-mail at your local county clerk office (3 p.m. the day before the election).

November 3, 2020: Last day to postmark ballot or turn it in personally to the local Board of Elections. (this applies to military members and citizens overseas as well).

Where Do I Vote

To vote in-person, you must go to your local polling place. To find yours, enter your details at this poll-locator page.

If an identifier on your voter registration form was not verifiable, you may be asked at a polling station to provide a form of ID.

Polling Hours
For the General Election in New Jersey, the polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Who Represents Me in the U.S. Congress?

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate collectively form the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. One way to find out who represents you is the search tool on whoismyrepresentative.com. To see for who represents your particular voting district, enter your zip code on the site. Select New Jersey to search for all Congresspeople representing that state.

The results show your representatives, each with their photograph, name and political party. All have a link that leads to their Washington, DC phone number and mailing address, and their own website.

State Representatives

To find out who represents you in the New Jersey Senate and New Jersey General Assembly, see the New Jersey State Legislature site.

 

Connecticut

Voter Registration

Visit www.myvote.ct.gov to use the voter registration look-up tool and polling place locator.

You can register to vote in Connecticut if you are:

      • At least 17 and turning 18 before Election Day.
      • A United States citizen living in Connecticut.
      • Finished with confinement and parole after a felony conviction. (More details)

You can register to vote online or by a Connecticut Voter Registration printable paper form. It is recommended that you enclose a downloaded voter registration application in an envelope, as the US Postal Service cannot guarantee the intact delivery of a form printed on standard office paper.

Deadlines

October 27, 2020 is Connecticut’s deadlines for voter registration whether in-person or postmarked for mailed forms (7 days before an election); online voter registrations must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on October 27, 2020.

Connecticut does have Election Day voter registration at designated Election Day Registration sites, which is typically the local town or city hall.  After registering there with the official registrar, you will receive a ballot with which to vote and return the ballot to the registrar (do not go to the local polling station).

Election Day Registration sites are open 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. Allow time to both register and vote by the 8 p.m. voting deadline. Contact your local Registrar of Voters for more information.

Absentee ballots will be available in early October, and must be received by your local town clerk by the close of polls at 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020, in order to be counted. Visit www.myvote.ct.gov, for more information and links to the absentee ballot application.

How to Make Changes to Your Voter Registration Status
Use the mail-in voter registration form to to update your name or address, or to change your party enrollment. (See form sections 1a and 10). You should receive a confirmation within three weeks. If you do not, contact the Registrar in your town hall.

Note that Connecticut has a three-month waiting period for switching parties. The cut-off dates to register a party affiliation is noon the day before the primary, and seven days before a General Election. Use the voter registration form to list a party affiliation or change your affiliation.

Victims of Domestic Violence
The Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) in Connecticut prevents public access to a participant’s actual address on government records, including voter registry lists. Call or text (888) 774-2900 or visit CTSafeConnect.org for information on how to enroll.

How Do I Vote?

You can vote at your polling place on General Election Day (Tuesday, November 3, 2020), or you can vote by absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots will be mailed to those who applied for one starting 31 days before an election, or on the 21st day before a primary. Click here to obtain a form, see who qualifies, and learn how the ballots are handled. Military and Overseas voters should see this page.

Absentee Ballot Deadline
Only complete absentee ballots received before the close of polls at 8 p.m. on November 3, 2020 will be counted.

Where Do I Vote

See this page to find out where your polling site is. When you check in at your polling place, you will need to present the proper identification, which varies if you are first-time voter or regular voter.

Polling Hours
Polls are open 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. and if a voter is in line at 8 p.m., that voter has the right to cast a ballot.

Who Represents Me?

U.S. Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate collectively form the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC. One way to find out who represents you is the search tool on whoismyrepresentative.com. To see for who represents your particular voting district, enter your zip code on the site. Select Connecticut to search for all Congresspeople representing that state.

The results show your representatives, each with their photograph, name and political party. All have a link that leads to their Washington, DC phone number and mailing address, and their own website.

State Representatives

To learn who your Connecticut General Assembly representatives are in Hartford, CT, enter your town and street name on the official site of the General Assembly.