It’s time to Vote Smart, New York.

In this troubling political climate it’s easy to feel powerless. If you live in solidly blue New York City, even the act of voting can feel futile. 

But here’s some good news. You can make your vote matter.

If you have a second home in New York State you can choose to vote at either your primary residence or at your second home. By registering to vote at your second home address, which is probably in a purple or red district, you’ll have a real voice in local, state and Congressional elections, something that you don’t have as part of the majority in a deep blue district.

Voting in key Congressional districts like NY 19 (Hudson Valley and Catskills) and NY 1 (North and South Forks of Long Island) is especially important. The 2018 races in these swing districts will be among the most hotly contested in the country and are crucial to efforts to turn the rest of New York - and Congress - blue.

And for second-home property owners, don't forget that you're paying local property taxes and supporting local businesses. In other words, you're part of the community and your vote counts.

Registering to vote at your second home is not only legal, it's easy (Our 'How To' page here shows you all you need to know). Register there before October 13, 2017 and you’ll be able to vote in important local races coming up in November, 2017. If  you don't currently have a party affiliation or want to switch, act by that same date and you’ll be able to vote in the 2018 primaries.

Questions? Click here for the FAQ section

 

 

 

I want to vote smart in ny!

Fill out the form and a Vote Smart NY volunteer will get in touch with you. We'll answer questions, send you a voter registration form, and help you apply for an absentee ballot. We make it easy!

Registering to vote at your second home is easy.
 

All it takes is filling out a new registration form and mailing it in. No other steps or documents are needed.

 

To show you how to change your registration, we’ve annotated the front and back of the form below.

But first - keep in mind a couple key dates in 2017:

Oct. 13: Deadline for changing registration to be eligible to vote in 2017 general election

              Deadline to change or add party affiliation to vote in 2018 primary election

Oct. 31 Last day to postmark absentee ballot request for general election

For other key dates click here

 

Here’s how to find your away around the registration form, and see below for a sample absentee ballot request form:

 


BallotForm.jpg

VOTER RESOURCES


NYS Voter Registration Forms: Download here and click here for a sample registration form when re-registering.

NYS Absentee Ballot Request Forms: Download here

NYS Full List of County Board of Elections Offices: Linked here

NYS 2017 Political Calendar: Download here


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.

https://casetext.com/case/matter-of-ferguson-v-mcnab-1

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."

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/Reporter/3dseries/2008/2008_08050.htm

The New York Times reported on the Delaware County case: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/02/realestate/02deal1.html


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?

You can vote by absentee ballot. We can help you get one by filling out the email form on our home page or you can go directly to the Board of Elections.

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.