From The Office of Government Relations and Urban Affairs:
Dear Members of the Fordham Community,
Exercising your right to vote on Election Day is an important duty, too important to ignore or neglect. As Fordham people for others, we have a responsibility to be citizens engaged in the civic life of our local, state, and national communities. For those of you who have not yet registered to vote, let Fordham provide the start of your lifelong engagement.
REGISTER TO VOTE
If you are not registered to vote, you can register online at vote.org. You may also check your registration status, update your information if it has changed since your last registration, and request an absentee ballot if you are not going to be in your home state on Election Day. Note: If you need to update or correct your registration information (e.g., your name or address), simply fill out the voter registration form. To register to vote, you must
- be a United States citizen (either by birth or naturalization);
- meet your state’s residency requirements;
- be at least 18 years old. (Some states allow 17-year-olds to vote in primaries or register to vote if they will be 18 before the general election.)
Please know that if you plan on voting in the Tuesday, November 3, general election, you must register to vote on or before the registration deadline of your home state. For example, if you are interested in voting for candidates running for office in New York state, your application must be postmarked no later than October 9, 2020, and received by a board of elections no later than October 14, 2020. You may find each state’s registration deadline on vote.org.
Each state has mail-in voting but some allow you to take part only in certain circumstances:
- Some states require an excuse for voting by mail. Due to the coronavirus, some states are giving all voters an excuse to vote by mail for certain elections.
- Because of the coronavirus, your state may automatically send you an absentee ballot or a form to fill out to request one.
Please check your state election office for the specific rules for your state.
In New York state, if you are registered to vote and wish to vote absentee due to COVID-19, you must fill out an application to request an absentee ballot. You may apply for an absentee ballot at the New York State Board of Elections and select the “temporary illness or physical disability” reason when completing your application. This is true even if you voted by absentee ballot in the June 2020 primary and checked the box requesting an absentee ballot for the November general election.
Further, recent changes to the election law allow all absentee ballots postmarked on or before Election Day or received by the Board of Elections without a postmark (the ballot is submitted directly) on the day after the election to be counted. Ballots with a postmark demonstrating that they were mailed on or before Election Day will be counted if received by Tuesday, November 10, a week after Election Day.
As a reminder, if you plan to vote by mail, you should request your ballot as early as possible to ensure you have enough time to receive and return it.
Sometimes, personal or professional conflicts make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. However, your state may let registered voters vote on specified dates before Election Day. This early voting chart lists time frames for states that offer early voting. Please note that the rules change from state to state. The best place to check is your state/territorial election office website. Check under “absentee voting” if you do not see information listed under “voting in person” or “early voting.”
If you are registered to vote in New York state, you may vote early for the general election. Early voting starts on October 24 and runs until November 1, 2020. You can find the times and places where you can vote early at the New York State Board of Elections.
MAKING AN INFORMED CHOICE
Finally, it can be difficult to determine the positions of each candidate running for office. Please feel free to visit nonpartisan voter information sites such as votesmart.org, vote411.org, and isidewith.com for more information on candidates, including their biographies, their voting records, their positions on issues, and contributions to their campaigns.
Participating in the democratic process is a privilege and responsibility we all share. Please be sure to register and vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.