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Know Your Rights

Know Your Rights

Before you head the polls, learn your rights as a NYC Voter.

You have the right to vote in the general election if:

  • You are a registered voter (Not sure if you’re registered? You can check here.)
  • You are at least 18 years old and a US citizen.
  • You are not currently incarcerated or on parole for a felony.
  • You are in line at your poll site by the time it is scheduled to close.

In any election, you have a right to:

  • Ask a poll worker, or any person of your choice (except your employer or union representative), for help.
  • An interpreter if you need language assistance. Interpreters are available at selected poll sites, and you can call 866-VOTE-NYC for more information.
  • Bring any voting materials with you (please take any materials away with you when you finish voting).
  • Vote even if the voting machine is broken.
  • Vote by affidavit ballot if your name is missing from the list of voters at your polling site.

You do not have to show an ID if you are not a first time voter.

  • Acceptable forms of identification include valid photo ID or current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck, or government document that shows name and address.
  • If you cannot or choose not to show identification, you have the right to vote by affidavit ballot.

You have the right to take paid time off from work to vote!

  • You can take up to 2 paid hours off from work at the beginning or end of your shift if polls are open for less than 4 hours before your shift starts and after it ends. That means on Election Day, you can take paid time off if you start work before 10am and end work after 5pm. You must notify your employer at least two days before the day on which you plan to vote.
  • Your employer is required to post a conspicuous notice in the workplace regarding these requirements no less than 10 working days before every election. This notice must remain posted until the polls close on Election Day.

You can vote, in some circumstances, if you have been convicted of a felony.
You may register and vote if you were convicted of a felony and:

  • You were sentenced to probation;
  • You were not sentenced to incarceration or your prison sentence was suspended;
  • You have served your maximum prison sentence, in which case you are able to re-register to vote
  • You were on parole and then discharged, in which case you are able to re-register to vote; or
  • You have received a pardon, including those covered by NYS Executive Order No. 181, or have been issued a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct while on parole.

You may not register or vote, if you have been convicted of a felony and:

  • You are currently incarcerated; or
  • You are under parole supervision, unless:
  1. You’ve received a pardon through NY State Executive Order No. 181, “Restoring The Right To Vote For New Yorkers On Parole”. (Parolees should check the Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision website or with their parole officer to learn if they’ve received a “voting pardon” under this order), or
  2. You have been issued a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or a Certificate of Good Conduct while on parole.

You can vote if you are experiencing homelessness.
People experiencing homelessness can register and vote in New York City, but you must have a mailing address where the BOE can send you notices.

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