Voter registration deadline approaches, absentee ballots are encouraged

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, New Yorkers will have the option to use absentee ballots for the upcoming election

On Monday Oct. 5, The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles issued a reminder about the voter registration deadline on Oct. 9 as well as instructions on how to register in person, online and by mail. 

Registration in person is only essential if someone does not currently have a driver’s license, permit or non driving photo ID. Individuals who wish to complete the application this way must make a prior reservation with their local DMV. 

All others who wish to register or change their information with the Board of Elections are able to do so on the DMV’s official website until the Oct. 9 deadline. Those applying will need to provide their ID number, date of birth, current zip code, last 4 digits of their social security number and their email address to the site. 

Some other alternative ways to register are in person or by mail through a local board of elections. In person registration must be done by Oct. 9. Mail applications must be postmarked by the same deadline and received by Oct 14.

Anyone who is either honorably discharged from the U.S. military or has been granted U.S. citizenship after the Oct. 9 date will have until Oct. 24 to register in person at their local Board of Elections. 

State officials are happy with the push to make voting a possibility for all New Yorkers. 

“We are pleased to give New Yorkers a convenient way to register to vote through our online application service,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder about the new streamlined process. “It is important that New Yorkers participate in our democracy, and we encourage everyone who is eligible to register.

Absentee voting is also an option. As a part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s push to make voting as accessible as possible during the pandemic, all elections must make absentee voting available, with different plans being made and finalized at various offices. The governor and the Board of Elections have said that the concern of contracting COVID-19 will be a valid reason for using an absentee ballot for this election, meaning that you don’t need to actually be sick to vote in this way. 

Absentee ballots can currently be sent to the Board of Elections and any that are postmarked by the day of election will be counted if received by Nov. 10. 

Anyone who has any questions about their registration or eligibility is encouraged to visit the New York State Board of Elections’ website to check their status.