NASW-NYS strongly encourages members to vote in all elections – local, state, national, association, etc. – as it is a chance to have your voice heard and be the change you want to see. It is easy to do and is one of the greatest privileges of this country – a chance to influence leadership and, in turn, social, health, and public policy. For social workers, it may be the most important way we can fulfill our obligation to create broader social change.
WHO CAN VOTE?
To register to vote in New York State, you need to be:
- a U.S. citizen;
- 18 years old by December 31st;
- and a resident of New York State, and the county, city or village in which you want to vote, for at least 30 days prior to the election.
Additionally, you cannot: be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction; have been adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court; or claim the right to vote elsewhere.
HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?
New York General Election: November 6, 2018
Voter Registration Deadline:
Postmarked by Friday, October 12.
Post received by Wednesday, October 17.
In-Person Request by Friday, October 12.
You can register in person at your county board of elections, or at any other voter registration center in NYS. You can also submit your application (click to download) to the Department of Motor Vehicles, in person or via their website (dmv.gov.ny).
In order to vote in the 2018 General Election, mailed registration applications must be postmarked no later than October 12, 2018, and received by a board of elections by October 17, 2018. If you are registering to vote in person, to be eligible for the 2018 General Election, you must do so by October 12, 2018.
If you need to vote with an absentee ballot in the 2018 General Election, your ballot must be postmarked by November 5, 2018, and received by the board of elections by November 19, 2018.
Additional tips for maneuvering through the system:
- If you need to change your address or name, your county board of elections must receive the information at least 20 days prior to the election (October 17, 2018) to guarantee that it is processed in time.
- If you want to change your party, prior to the 2018 General Election, your change of enrollment form must be received by a board of elections by October 12, 2018.
- Are you registered? Check your registration status by using this New York State voter registration search tool (https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov/votersearch.aspx).
For more information, please call 1-800-FOR-VOTE (to request a voter application) or visit the New York State Voter Registration website (elections.ny.gov)
HELP OTHERS VOTE
Social workers can play an important role in encouraging clients and other vulnerable members of the community to vote and engage in advocacy around issues that impact their lives. Social workers can also assist clients overcome barriers to voting (e.g. lack of information on candidates and the voting process, mobility limitations, lack of appropriate identification, and more) by providing them with the appropriate tools and resources and guiding them through the registration and voting process.
THE NATIONAL SOCIAL WORK VOTER MOBILIZATION CAMPAIGN
In addition to our own voter participation activities, NASW is collaborating with the voter participation efforts of the Voting is Social Work coalition to raise awareness of the importance of voting to social work practice and social policy, provide information about voter mobilization skills, and ensure all the people served by social workers have voting access.
We invite our members to visit www.votingissocialwork.org where you will find webinars, fact sheets, tools, and resources for voter registration and participation.
Remember, every vote matters — including yours.