Free and open public elections are the cornerstone of any truly democratic government – but they don't matter unless you, as a citizen, actively participate. To play a role in this vital process and have your voice heard, you must be registered to vote.
September 19th is National Voter Registration Day, a nonpartisan civic "holiday" celebrating our democracy. Scheduled annually on the third or fourth Tuesday of September, it was first observed in 2012, and has quickly gained momentum ever since. Its base is a consortium of voter and political advocacy groups, along with government agencies and corporate partners. Its mission is "to create broad awareness of voter registration opportunities to reach tens of thousands of voters who may not register otherwise.” On this day, these organizations (along with many volunteers) make a coordinated, unified effort to publicize and advocate voter registration opportunities wherever they may exist nationwide, through media presence and special field events.
Are YOU registered to vote?
Every year, the Suffolk County Board of Elections mails out a postcard with information on upcoming elections to every household with a registered voter. If you did not receive it, or if your name was not listed on it, you may not be registered to vote, your registration may have lapsed due to inactivity, or your address on file with the BOE is incorrect. Now is the time to take action to ensure that you are able to vote in the upcoming General Election on Nov. 7th (as well the 2024 June primaries and other elections).
To check the status of your registration, look up your voter record.
How do I register or update my voter record?
Minimum requirements to vote: be at least 18 years of age (by the date of the election) and a U.S. citizen.
You must fill out a Voter Registration Form, whether you are a soon-to-be voter or an already-registered voter who wants to ensure that their record is kept accurate and up-to-date (i.e. changes in name, address, party affiliation, etc.). You can obtain a form and register in three ways:
- Fill out and mail the paper form to your local/county Board of Elections (mailing addresses are listed on the back of the form).
- Fill out and hand-deliver the form in-person to your local BOE offices (Suffolk County BOE is located at 700 Yaphank Avenue in Yaphank).
- Register and submit an e-form online using the New York State DMV portal (or access via your “MyDMV” account if you have one set up).
Regardless of which method you use, under state election law, the form MUST be received by the BOE at least 10 days before a general election to be accepted for processing. For 2023, the registration deadline is Saturday, October 28th. File in a timely manner to ensure that your registration is validated in time for the upcoming elections. The deadline for requesting a change-of-address is Monday, October 23rd.
Where can I get a form?
As mentioned above, the form is available online and in print. We have plenty of paper forms available (in English and Spanish), as do most other public libraries, post offices and DMV locations. Just go to our Adult Services desk and request a copy (or visit the display table in our lobby on September 19th).
Need more information about voter registration and other election topics?
South Huntington Public Library has fliers, pamphlets and forms (with instructions) on file to get you started and answer any general questions you may have. In addition, the Suffolk Cooperative Library System has created a concise, easy-to-navigate online LibGuide that includes comprehensive and helpful explanations, summaries (by topic) and links to external resources and official information.
There are many online resources for general information, such as voter record look-up, forms, polling place listings (with dates, times and locations), political calendars (with filing deadlines), candidate listings, election procedures & statutes, and much more. The following are suggested as a starting point (many of them overlap in content, while some are more specialized):
Don't wait to take action…YOUR VOTE MATTERS!
Reference Librarian, Adult Services Department
Polling Inspector (D-Huntington), Suffolk County Board of Elections