There is less than one month until the 2016 Presidential Election and time is running out to register to vote. If you’re from out-of-state and you’ve procrastinated until now to get an absentee ballot, now is your last chance to get everything together to vote in the 2016 Election. Below are some tips to help figure out the process.
If you’re able to muster up some excuse as to why you couldn’t hit these deadlines, Fairfield will be offering the opportunity for students to register and vote for the election on Nov. 8. For the first time, students can head to the Barone Campus Center, register to vote and then vote without leaving the school.
New York: Oct. 14
New Jersey: Oct. 18
Massachusetts: Oct. 19
New Hampshire: Oct. 29
Connecticut: Nov. 1
If you’re from Connecticut and will be voting in this year’s election, the process to vote is a little easier for you than for your friend who lives in New Jersey.
First and foremost, you need to be registered to vote. In order to register to vote, here are the requirements.
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be a resident of a Connecticut town
- Be at least 18 years old by Election Day, Nov. 8
- Not be convicted of a felony or if previously convicted of a felony, have completed your prison sentence and parole and paid all related fines
- Not be mentally incompetent
Registering to vote is easy and convenient due to the genius invention of the internet. You can register to vote here or you can register through mail by Nov. 1.
From New York:
For students from New York, Oct. 14 is the last day to register to vote. Registering can be done online or through mail. In order to register online, here are the requirements for those who are from New York:
- A New York State DMV issued drivers license, learner permit or Non-Driver ID
- It must be your most recently issued document — you will need your NYS ID number and document number (See Sample Photo Documents)
- The ZIP Code currently on record with the DMV
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN)
If you successfully register to vote, the next step is going to vote. If you will not be returning to your hometown for Election Day, an absentee ballot needs to be requested. The ballot is mailed to you from the town hall in your hometown in the case that you will not be present. The ballot can be obtained through your County Board of Elections or here. Once the PDF is downloaded, it must be printed out, filled out and mailed back to your county’s town hall. The absentee ballot must be postmarked by Nov. 1 for it to be approved.
Oct. 19 is the last day to register to vote if you live in Massachusetts. If you are not yet registered, here are the requirements to vote.
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 18 years old on or before the next election
- You may pre-register if you’re at least 16 years old
- Live at a Massachusetts address
- Not be under guardianship or incarcerated in a correctional facility due to a felony conviction
- Not be temporarily or permanently disqualified from voting because of corrupt practices in respect to elections
If you meet these requirements and like our New Yorkers, will not be home for the election, here is how you can acquire an absentee ballot.
First, you must print and fill out the Massachusetts Absentee Ballot Application on the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ webpage. Attached at the bottom of the sheet will be an address to send the application back to your town’s city hall, which takes approximately a week to process. If you are registered to vote and the state deems your absenteeism valid, you will receive a physical absentee ballot in the mail approximately 10 days after you have submitted the application. The application deadline is Nov. 7 by noon. Once you fill out the ballot, make sure to place it in the envelope that was sent with the ballot and sign the waiver on the aforementioned envelope. Finally, place this envelope inside of the secondary, pre-stamped envelope and send it back to your town hall. All absentee ballots must be submitted by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.
From New Jersey:
The deadline to register to vote in New Jersey is Oct. 18. Here is the step-by-step process of how to register by mail that can be found by Google searching “How to register to vote.” Once you complete the steps listed below, you can check if you’re registered to vote here.
- Get the voter registration form. Fill out and print a voter registration application form for your county or contact your County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections to request one by mail.
- Fill out the form
Step 1 – Indicate whether you’re filling out a new registration, changing your address or name, updating your signature or updating your party affiliation.
Step 2 – Respond Yes or No to whether you’re a citizen and at least 17 years old.
Step 3-5 – Provide your name, date of birth and your valid New Jersey Driver’s License or ID card number. If you don’t have one, provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.
Step 6 – Provide your home address.
Step 7-8 – (If applicable) Provide your mailing address (if different) and the last address where you were registered to vote.
Step 9 – (If applicable) Provide your former name if you’re changing your name, along with your daytime phone number and email (both optional).
Step 10 – Declare your political party affiliation or that you don’t want to declare a party affiliation.
Step 11 – Select your gender.
Step 12 – Sign and date the registration.
Step 13 – If you’re registering to vote for the first time and don’t provide a driver’s license, ID or Social Security number, you must provide one of the following with your registration or when you vote: Current photo ID, current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or another government document showing your name and address.
- Send the form. Mail the form to your County Commissioner of Registration or Superintendent of Elections no later than Oct. 18.
If you are looking to receive an absentee ballot, the County Clerk must receive your application seven days prior to the election, according to the New Jersey Department of State – Division of Elections. An original signature is also required in order to receive a ballot, therefore the County Clerk will not accept faxed or emailed copies.
From New Hampshire:
Registering to vote in New Hampshire is similar to registering in New Jersey. New Hampshire does not offer the option of registering online, but it can be done through mail until Oct. 29.
In order to register, a citizen from New Hampshire must:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be 18 years old or older on Election Day, Nov. 8
- Be a New Hampshire resident
- Not have ever been convicted of treason, bribery, a willful violation of state or federal election law, or bribery or intimidation in New Hampshire elections (unless the right to vote is restored by the New Hampshire Supreme Court)
- Not have been convicted of a felony unless you have been finally discharged, your sentence is currently suspended or you’re out on parole
To register to vote by Oct. 29, the steps are as follows:
- Contact your city clerk or town to request an application
- Receive an application and mail it in by Oct. 29
Once the application is received, an absentee ballot needs to be requested for those who will not be returning home. An absentee ballot can be obtained here.
- When the absentee ballot is filled out, it must be sent to your town/city clerk by Nov. 7 at 5 p.m. Although it can be received by Nov. 7, it must be sent back to your town by Nov. 8 at 5 p.m.
What does this mean?
Although you can apply for your ballot by Nov. 7, it’s best to apply sooner to allow time for processing, especially because you are out-of-state. Sending in your request for an absentee ballot now would be ideal to allow a window of time that the town clerk can send you your ballot before Nov. 8 at 5 p.m.
The Mirror encourages all who are eligible to vote to register in the coming weeks.