To vote in federal, state and municipal elections, you must be a registered voter. Students and other members of the Cornell community who are not from New York State have the option to vote in NYS or in their home state.
If you are graduating and moving to a new address, you will need to update your voter registration. If you are moving within the state in which you are currently registered to vote, you can simply update your voter registration information according to state laws. If you are moving to another state, you will need to re-register with that state.
To be eligible to register to vote in NYS, you must:
- Be a United States citizen;
- Be 18 years of age by the date of the election in which you want to vote;
- Be a resident of NYS and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election in which you want to vote;
- Not be in prison for a felony conviction;
- Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court; and
- Not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
There are various ways to register to vote (or update your voter information, such as change of address) in NYS including:
- Online: If you have a NYS DMV issued driver license, permit or Non-Driver ID, you may register to vote or update your voter information online. (Note, the online application can take up to 6 weeks to process.)
- By mail: Print and then complete the online voter registration form (PDF); or complete an accessible version of the form and then print. (Note, to ensure the entire form is printed, print on legal size paper or shrink to fit on letter size paper.) Alternatively, to request a registration form be mailed to you, call 1-800-FOR-VOTE or enter your information online. In all cases, the form must be completed, signed, and mailed to your county board of elections (county boards are listed on the form).
- In person: This can be done at your county board of elections or at any NYS agency-based voter registration center. If you are residing in Ithaca, visit the Tompkins County Board of Elections; in Geneva, visit the Ontario County Board of Elections; or in New York City, visit the New York City Board of Elections.
Additionally, during the months leading up to federal elections in NYS or elections for NYS governor, NYS voter registration forms are made available throughout Cornell’s campuses. The on-campus locations are communicated to students by the university in early September of those election years, and will also be posted on this webpage when they become known.
For NYS voter-related deadlines – including voter registration, change of address, change of party enrollment, and voting by absentee ballot – visit the NYS Board of Elections webpage.
Polling site locations:
If you are registered to vote in NYS, you may search for your early voting and election day polling site location(s) on the NYS Board of Elections webpage. Most Cornell students who live on campus can utilize on-campus polling sites. (The location of on-campus polling sites will also be included in the university’s communication to students referenced above, and posted on this webpage when they become known.)
Out-of-NYS students and other members of the Cornell community who wish to register to vote in their home state (or graduating students needing to update their voter registration address or re-register with the state of their new residence) may do so by:
- Completing the National Mail Voter Registration Form and mailing it to a state or local elections office for processing (see state-specific instructions included in the form for additional information). To request a printed version of the form, contact the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (866-747-1471; firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Visiting their home state’s elections website and following instructions on how to register to vote (or update voter registration information) in that state. Visit the U.S. Election Assistance Commission webpage, to search for your home state’s website.
Once registered in your home state, you may request an absentee ballot. Some states allow you to request an absentee ballot online, while others require the request be submitted by mail. For information on your home state’s requirements, and/or to generate an absentee ballot request form (after which you will receive mailing instructions and deadline information), visit the Cornell Votes/Andrew Goodman Foundation webpage. (Note, some states require absentee ballots be requested and returned well before election day so it is important to review state-specific deadlines.)
Polling site locations:
To vote in person in your home state, use the polling place locator to find your polling site.
For assistance with voting in New York State or elsewhere – including registering to vote, checking your registration status, requesting an absentee ballot, and finding your polling place – email or visit the Cornell Votes website, a nonpartisan, student-led effort to increase voter registration and civic engagement among all Cornellians.
For information related to federal and statewide elections, in addition to local elections for the 100 largest U.S. cities by populations, visit Ballotpedia. And for more information, both specific to voter registration as well as to general governmental information, visit the below websites.