Getting People Registered
Now that you’re registered to vote, it’s your turn to encourage others to vote too. Start by familiarizing yourself with the registration process since it’s the first step to voting.
Keeping it Non-Partisan
The Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, which means we can’t endorse any one party or candidate. That means when you do Get Out the Vote with The Center, it’s important to keep it non-partisan.
- Don’t suggest which party to register with.
- Don’t suggest which candidate to vote for.
- Don’t talk about party stances or the parties that politicians belong to.
Encourage people to research the candidates and the political parties in New York State (there are eight of them!) on their own before making decisions.
Understanding the Voter Registration Form
To get you started, take a look at this helpful Guide to the New York State Voter Registration Form.
A few tips on filling out the form:
- Item 5, which includes a gender selection, is optional.
- Items 6 and 7 are also optional, although entering your phone and/or email will ensure that you can be contacted in case there’s an issue with your registration form.
- You only have to fill out item 12 if you’re updating your address.
- You don’t have to choose a party when you register, but in order to vote in primary elections in New York State you need to register with the party whose primary you wish to participate in.
- For the general election, you don’t need to be registered with a party to vote for a candidate.
And some gentle reminders:
- If someone is not a U.S. citizen, filling out a voter registration form at all can have serious legal consequences, as it is considered forgery. If someone seems unsure if they can register to vote, ask if they would like to go over their eligibility.
- Don’t pressure anyone to tell you why they are not eligible if they do not want to share that information.
There are many other ways to be civically engaged beyond voting. If someone is unable to register, encourage them join a political campaign of their choosing or help register other people to vote. If they live in New York City, they can also join a local community board or get involved in participatory budgeting.