On November 8th, Americans will be called to to exercise one of the basic rights of citizenship and cast our ballots for the presidential candidate we believe is best suited to lead our country. However, many voters don’t trust their vote matters for a plethora of reasons, from not having a candidate who represents issues that matter to them most, to feeling the system is rigged.
Here are three reasons your vote counts in the 2016 election.
1. Voting is your voice.
Voting is a way to make sure your voice is heard by our government. Whether or not the candidate you vote for is elected, you cast your ballot and your voice is heard. We all know how much everyone loves to complain about politics–allow yourself to complain with integrity because at least you know you voted!
2. Your vote is not only for the president, but the thousands of appointees to the White House.
Your vote for the next POTUS is also for the next deputy administrator in the EPA office, the new strategy chief at U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, and even the new chief number cruncher at the Census Bureau. These folks play a crucial role in building and implementing policies that changes lives.
3. Higher turnout makes our democracy more representative.
Nearly 80% of people with a yearly income of $75,000 or higher voted in the 2012 election. Compare that to the mere 60% of folks who came out to vote who make less than $50,000 a year. Then look at the numbers by age and you’ll see that voter participation of older Americans eclipses those of ages under 30.
When you cast your ballot, you tell our representatives that different demographics are showing up because they care. Our hope is that these representatives will listen to our concerns and take action on our behalf.
Bonus: You get a free sticker!
If you still need to register:
This is the quickest and simplest way to register. Visit the website of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). On the DMV website, you can either sign into your existing account or set up a new account if you don’t have one already.Once you have logged in, click on the tab marked “Electronic Voter Registration Application” and complete the form. Please make sure that you provide accurate, up-to-date information before you submit your application. (If you are already registered, but would simply like to update your address or your name, please go to the “Change of Address” or “Change of Name” to update your registration.)
BY U.S. MAIL:
To register by U.S. mail, please print out and complete a voter registration form and mail it postmarked by Friday, October 14, 2016 to your local county Board of Elections office. The form will be accepted as long as it is postmarked by October 14 and received by October 19. You can also obtain registration forms from libraries, post offices and most New York City government agencies. Please mail your voter registration form postmarked by October 14 to the New York County Board of Elections, 32 Broadway, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10004.
You can register to vote at your local New York County Board of Elections office or at most New York State agencies. Make sure to have a hard copy of a New York voter registration form when you arrive (you can download and print out a voter registration form in English here).
The Board of Elections office for New York County (which includes Manhattan and Roosevelt Island) is located at 200 Varick Street (off W. Houston Street), 10th Floor, New York, NY 10014. The phone number is 212-886-2100. It is open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
APPLYING FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT
If you want to vote in the November 8 election but know you won’t be able make it to the polls in person, you can apply for an absentee ballot either by U.S. mail or in person.
To apply for an absentee ballot by mail, you can download an application from the Board of Elections website, complete it, and mail it to your local Board of Elections office. (If you live in Manhattan, see the address for the New York County Board of Elections above). The final day to postmark your absentee ballot application is November 1.
To apply for an absentee ballot in person, you need to submit your application to your local Board of Elections office by November 7.
To make sure that your absentee ballot is counted, please have it postmarked by November 7 or deliver it yourself to the Board of Elections by 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 8, when polls close.
For more information, visit the websites of the New York City Board of Elections, the NYS DMV, or the New York State Board of Elections. You can also call the New York Board of Elections during business hours at 1-800-367-8683.
Exercising your right to vote is the very foundation of democracy. Please remember to vote on Tuesday, November 8!