Voter Requirements

States have widely varying rules for voter registration, identification at polls, polling places and hours and how - or if - felons are allowed to vote.

To review rules for states other than your own, click on the state abbreviation below.

Voter Requirements for New York

Identification Required for Registration

To register to vote you must have either a verifiable New York State driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have either of these, and you are registering for the first time by mail, you may provide a copy of one of the following: A valid photo ID, which include, but are not limited to: A valid photo ID A current utility bill Bank statement Government check or Some other government documentation that shows your name and address If you do not provide identification with your registration form, you will be asked for it the first time you vote.


General Election Registration Deadline: Oct. 12, 2012 General Election Early Voting Deadline: In-person absentee voting begins as soon as the ballots are available, at least 32 days before the election. You can vote at the County Board of Elections office in your county, and can vote in-person until the day before Election Day.

Identification Required at Polling Places

Acceptable forms of identification include: A driver's license or department of motor vehicles non-driver photo ID card or other current and valid photo identification; A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. If the voter is not able to show one of these items to the poll officials, then the voter can vote only by affidavit ballot unless a court order provides otherwise.

Felon Voting

Those convicted of a felony, or a crime that would constitute a felony under New York state law, you cannot vote unless pardoned, your maximum sentence has expired, or you have been discharged from parole. Before you can vote, you must re-register.

Polling Place Hours

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. All voters who are in line before closing time are allowed to vote.

Historical Voting Problems

A history of discrimination relating to voting and elections requires New York counties Bronx, Kings and New York to be covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, meaning that these counties cannot legally pass and enforce any voting law without clearance from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or specifically from the U.S. Attorney General. The voting jurisdictions must prove the proposed voting change does not deny any person the right to vote on account of race, color, or belonging to a protected language minority group.