In order to vote on election day in Queens (or anywhere else in NYC) you must first register.
When you register, you are invited to select a political party affiliation. Selecting a political party is not required in order to vote on election day. However, you must be affiliated with a political party in order to participate in the primary election. Candidates approved in the primary election appear on the ballot for the general election.
With the Democratic Party so strong in Queens, the reality is that the primary election really decides whether many local politicians are elected. After the primary, the general election tends to be a cakewalk.
What's on the Ballot for 2013 Election Day?
- City Comptroller
- Public Advocate
- Queens Borough President
- City Council - City Council District 24-32
When to Vote
- Primary Election - September 10, 2013
- Deadline for Primary Voter Registration - postmarked by August 16, 2013
- Run-Off Primary (if needed) - October 1, 2013
- General Election - November 5, 2013
- Deadline for Voter Registration - postmarked by October 11, 2013
- Deadline for Voter Change of Address
Your voter registration change must be mailed or delivered at least 25 days before the election, or October 11. To register in time for the primary election, have your form delivered or mailed by August 16. (Officially, you must notify the Board of Election within 25 days of changning addresses in order to keep your registration current.)
Who Can Vote in NYC?
To register in NYC (of which Queens is a borough), you must:
- Be a citizen of the United States. (People born in Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands are citizens.)
- Be a New York City resident for at least 30 days.
- Be 18 years of age before the next election.
- Not be serving a jail sentence or be on parole for a felony conviction.
- Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
- Not claim the right to vote elsewhere (outside the City of New York).
How to Register
Register in Person:
- Board of Elections Office in Queens
- 126-06 Queens Blvd, Kew Gardens, NY 11415
Register by Mail:
- Download and fill out a registration form from the Board of Elections (available in English, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese) and mail to:
- Board of Elections in the City of New York
- 32 Broadway, 7 Fl
- New York, NY 10004
Where to Vote
Polling places are located throughout the city, usually in schools or other public institutions. You can only vote at your designated polling place.
Your voter registration form will tell you your polling place. If you are unsure, either call NYC Voter Phone Bank at 1-866-VOTE-NYC or email your complete home address to the Board of Elections at email@example.com.
If you are unavailable to vote in person on election day (with a legitimate reason), you must apply for an absentee ballot:
- In person at the Board of Elections Office (see above for location). The last chance is the day before the election. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on the weekend prior to Election Day. You can also vote there on Election Day until 9 p.m.
- By mail, by downloading an absentee ballot application, and mailing it in, postmarked no later than October 29, 2013, for the general election .
- Once your application has been accepted, you will receive an absentee ballot in the mail. Carefully complete the ballot, and return to the Board of Elections. It must be postmarked by the day before the election, November 4, 2013. Emergency absentee ballots are also available. More on absentee voting in Queens.
Change of Address
If you move, you must notify the Board of Elections by October 11. Your polling place may change as a result.
Political Parties in New York State
Voting Machines for 2013 Elections
An electronic voting machine has been in use since the 2010 election for all voting places in NYC. You will fill out a paper ballot, marking candidates with a pen, and then insert the ballot into a machine for scanning and tabulating.