The legal precedenTS
The law is clear. Second home voters in New York State have the right to choose where they want to vote. They do not have to vote where they maintain their primary residence.
In 1983 the NYS Court of Appeals affirmed a woman’s right to vote in Huntington, Long Island even though she lived elsewhere five days a week.
In 2008 the Appellate Division of the NYS Supreme Court ordered the Delaware County Board of Elections to reinstate eight weekend homeowners who had been stricken from the voting rolls, saying, "Election Law does not preclude a person from having two residences and choosing one for election purposes provided he or she has 'legitimate, significant and continuing attachments' to that residence."
The New York Times reported on the Delaware County case:
FREQUENTLY AsKED QUESTIONS
1. If I register to vote at my second home address can I also vote from my primary residence address?
No. You can choose where you want to vote, but you must choose! You can only vote in one location.
2. What if my second home is a rental?
If renters couldn’t vote, most of New York City would be disenfranchised! As long as your second home is a year-round rental you have the same voting rights as an owner.
3. what if I won't be at my second home on election day?
4. What if the address on my driver’s license is different from my voting address?
Even though people can and do register to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV records and Board of Elections records are different and separate. Your voter address doesn’t have to match the one on your driver's license.
5. Will my STAR property tax exemption be affected?
No. Only primary residences are eligible for STAR. Your primary residence stays the same no matter what your voter address is.
6. What about jury duty?
New York State draws from five different sources (the Departments of Motor Vehicles, Labor, Social Services, Taxation and Finance, and Board of Elections) to find potential jurors, so you could be called to serve at either address. You serve where you want to, and service in one jurisdiction “counts” as service in other NYS jurisdictions.
7. Do I have to inform my NYC Board of Elections office that I’ve re-registered out of the city?
No. The Board of Elections handles that.
8. Can my landlord use my voter re-registration address to claim that my rental apartment isn’t my primary residence?
No. NYS gives voters the right to register at their second homes, so voter registration is not legal proof of primary residence. However, if you live in a rent-stabilized, rent-controlled, or subsidized apartment or loft, you should consider your individual circumstances before making a change.
9. OK, I want to re-register. now what?
We can help! Fill out the form on our homepage and one of our volunteers will get in touch. We'll send you everything you need to register to vote at your second home address. Or else you can download the forms you'll need to change your registration on our Voter Resources page.