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Strict voter ID law approved in Michigan House
12/08/16 |
Publication Date: 
Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 01:00
Excerpt: 

Michigan’s Republican-led House on Wednesday night approved a strict voter identification proposal over strenuous objections from Democrats who argued the plan could disenfranchise properly registered voters.

Michigan voters without photo identification could still cast a provisional ballot under the controversial legislation, but they would have to bring an ID to their local clerk’s office within 10 days of an election in order for their vote to count. ...

The measure now heads to the Senate with just four full days left in the so-called lame-duck session.

Trump and Pence: this Pew report proves our voter fraud claims. Actual report: nope.
12/07/16 |
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 12:30
Excerpt: 

The report isn’t even about voter fraud; it’s about the technical aspects of voter registration systems, and how America could save money by upgrading how it registers voters. ...

There have been multiple investigations into voter fraud. None of them have found serious evidence of anything close to millions of people voting illegally.

One analysis focused just on voter impersonation, the type of fraud that strict voter ID laws (which Trump supports) aim to curtail. Tracking credible allegations of this type of fraud, Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt found 35 total credible allegations between 2000 and 2014 [out of a total of 1 billion ballots cast]. ...

A 2012 investigation by the News21 journalism project looked at all kinds of voter fraud, including voter impersonation, people voting twice, vote buying, absentee fraud, and voter intimidation. It confirmed that voter impersonation was extremely rare, with just 10 credible cases. ...

Putting all of this together, the evidence is clear: Voter fraud is extremely rare. It doesn’t add up to the millions in one election, as Trump claimed. In fact, it doesn’t even add up to the thousands in a single election. So Trump really lost the popular vote fair and square.

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New York Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Friday, October 14

For more information visit the New York State Board of Elections website.

During general elections, polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

New York DOES NOT have early voting.

How to Find Your Polling Place

REGISTER TO VOTE HERE

Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.


Registration Deadlines

If you are registering by mail, your application must be postmarked 25 days before the election and received no later than the twentieth day before the election. For the 2016 general election, your application must be postmarked by October 14 and received by a board of elections by October 19, 2016 for you to be eligible to vote in the general election on November 8.

If you are registering online, the deadline is 25 days before the election, or October 14 for the 2016 general election.

If you are registering in person, you may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the the next election, your application must be received 25 days before the election, or October 14, 2016 for the 2016 general election. 

However, if you have been honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen after the registration deadline, you may register in person at the board of elections and vote in the general election held at least ten days after such registration.

How to Check if You Are Registered

Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or check the New York State Board of Election’s voter registration lookup page here.

How to Register

Online

Individuals may register to vote online in New York.  You will need to create a MyDMV account.  Online voter registration requires that you have a New York State Driver’s License, New York State Learner Permit or New York State Non-Driver ID, and your social security number.  If you have moved, you must first update your address with DMV, which you can do through the same website provided above.  Online applications must be submitted on or before the deadline to be valid for any specific election.

In-Person or by Mail

You may also register to vote in person at your county board of elections.  You can locate your county board here

You can download a voter registration form from the New York Board of Elections Website in either English or Spanish, and then print, fill it out, sign and mail it to your county board of elections.  You may also fill out your form online by typing the necessary information into the PDF form and printing it out, also in either English or Spanish, although these files are larger, so they may take longer to load on computers with slower internet connections. Mail your completed voter registration form to your county board of elections. Applications must be mailed in and postmarked at least 25 days before an election you want to vote in.

Registration Eligibility

In order to vote, New York law requires that you MUST:

  • be a United States citizen;
  • be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you file yoru registration form (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, primary or other election in which you want to vote);
  • live at your present address at least 30 days before an election;
  • not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction;
  • not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court; and
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

Identification Required for Registration

The New York Voter Registration Application asks applicants to provide a DMV identification number (either a driver’s license number or a non-driver ID number) or else the last four digits of their Social Security Number.                                        

If you do not have either a DMV or Social Security Number, you can send a copy of the following acceptable forms of ID along with your registration form in order to establish your identity:

  • a valid photo ID;
  • a copy of a current utility bill;
  • a bank statement;
  • a paycheck;
  • a government check; or
  • some other government document that shows the applicant's name and address.

If an applicant’s identity cannot be verified before Election Day, she or he will be asked for ID when she or he votes for the first time. 

If You Want to Vote Early

New York does not have early voting. However, individuals with a valid reason may be able to vote an absentee ballot in-person at their county board of elections office ahead of Election Day. Check with your county board of elections about their hours and the availability of this option (for New York City, that information can be found here).

If You Want to Vote Absentee

The following persons are qualified to vote by absentee ballot:

  • Persons who will be absent from their county or, if a resident of New York City absent from said city, on Election Day;
  • Persons who will be unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability; or because they are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled;
  • Patients or inmates in a Veterans' Administration Hospital; and
  • Persons who will be detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

Procedures for Voting by Absentee Ballot

Voters who meet the absentee ballot requirements may vote absentee by mail or in person.

In Person

Visit your county board of elections office (find yours here). You can pick up an application, fill it out, and deliver it to the county board through the day before the election. Some counties offer in-person absentee voting through the day before Election Day--November 7, 2016--so check with your county board of elections for more information.

By Mail

You can request the application online, by sending a letter to your county board of elections, or by picking it up from your county board in person.  If applying by mail, the county board office must receive the absentee ballot application no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days prior to the election--for the 2016 general election, that means after October 9 but before November 1, 2016 (though there are emergency procedures for applying after that date--see below).  If you write a letter, your letter must include the following information:

  • the address where you are registered;
  • an address where the ballot is to be sent;
  • the reason for the request; and
  • your signature as the registered voter.

Your voted ballot must be postmarked by the day before the election, or November 7, 2016, or returned in person to your county board of elections by the close of polls (9 p.m.) on Election Day. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on your absentee ballot. You may return the ballot personally or by mail.  You may also have another person pick up and/or return the ballot for you, but you must first indicate that person’s name on your absentee ballot application.

You must sign the oath on the envelope used to return the absentee ballot.  If you cannot sign the oath on your absentee ballot envelope because of illness, physical disability or illiteracy, you must make your mark and have the mark witnessed by someone you designate.

Emergency Absentee Ballots

If the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail has passed and you cannot appear at the polls on Election Day because of an accident or sudden illness, then you may send a representative with an authorized letter to receive an Absentee Ballot Application and Absentee Ballot and return both to the your board of elections by 9:00 PM on Election Day.

Voting in Person after Requesting an Absentee Ballot

An individual who requested an absentee ballot and whose circumstances change and is able to vote at their polling place on Election Day may still vote in person.  If the voter votes in person after submitting their absentee ballot, the absentee ballot will be set aside. 

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

The New York Voter Registration Application asks applicants to provide a DMV identification number (either a driver’s license number or a non-driver ID number) or else the last four digits of their Social Security Number.                                        

If you do not have either a DMV or Social Security Number, you can send a copy of the following acceptable forms of ID along with your registration form in order to establish your identity:

  • a valid photo ID;
  • a copy of a current utility bill;
  • a bank statement;
  • a paycheck;
  • a government check; or
  • some other government document that shows the applicant's name and address.

If an applicant’s identity cannot be verified before Election Day, she or he will be asked for ID when she or he votes for the first time. 

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

Most voters are not required to provide an ID at the polling place. However, if an applicant does not provide the above identification information with their voter registration application, he/she will be required to provide this information when voting.

VoteRiders has created New York voter ID info cards in English and in Spanish.

If you have moved since you last voted, or registered to vote, you will need to update your voter registration information. If it is on or before the voter registration deadline (October 14 for the 2016 general election), you should register to vote at your current address (see above for instructions).

If it is after October 14, your options depend on where you moved from and to:

  • If you moved within your same precinct, go to your polling place (which should be the same for your old and new address if you've moved within the same precinct) and provide the poll worker with your new address. You should be able to vote a regular ballot. 
  • If you moved within your same county or within New York City (even if between boroughs), go to the polling place for your NEW address and cast an affidavit ballot there. The affidavit ballot should be counted and your address changed in the voter registration records. You can find your new polling place by entering your new address here.
  • If you moved to a different county, or from New York to another state within the 30 days prior to the election (Oct. 9), you are only eligible to vote for president and vice president, not a full ballot. You can apply for a special presidential ballot to the county board of elections where you USED TO live. Such applications must be mailed to the board by Nov. 1 OR in-person deliver the application to the board of elections by or on Election Day.

Special services are provided to assist military and overseas civilian voters participate in elections.  If you are a military or overseas civilian voter who is eligible to vote in New York, you can find out more at the New York Board of Elections site here.

Military and overseas citizens can also use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) New York-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's New York-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by close of polls on Election Day.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used  to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's New York page to download the form.

After completing your prison and/or parole sentence, you may register to vote.

A citizen cannot vote in New York if they have been convicted of a felony and are currently serving a sentence of imprisonment or parole. Citizens who are on probation retain their right to vote. If you were previously registered to vote and lost your right to vote due to a felony convinction, you must re-register to vote by the registration deadline (see above for registration procedures).

FAQ

Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, find a National Disability Rights Network partner in your area.

For more information for student voters, visit the Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

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2016 Election Information for your state