When it comes to the lottery, they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it.
The same axiom applies to elections.
If you’re not registered vote, you don’t get to participate in them.
And if there’s any year you might want to put your 2 cents into the democracy, this might be the one.
Of course, there’s the presidential race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden at the top of the Nov. 3 ballot. The outcome could set the course for our nation’s future, and the future of the world, for generations to come.
But that’s not all we’re voting on here in New York. The entire state Legislature, both the Senate and Assembly, is on the ballot this year, as are all the members of our state’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, there are local ballot initiatives in some places.
Today is National Voter Registration Day, a day to remind those who want to vote in November that time is running short to sign up.
The deadline in New York to register for the election is Friday, Oct. 9, slightly more than two weeks from today. Registration forms postmarked Oct. 9 have to get to the Board of Elections by Oct. 14.
It only takes about 5 minutes to fill in a registration form, and only a few minutes more to mail it in.
But too many unregistered voters procrastinate until it’s too late. And then they’re disappointed when they’re turned away at the polls and can’t vote.
If you wait for the postmark deadline to mail in your registration, it might not get there in time. Or if there’s a problem with your registration form, you might not learn about it in time to make a change.
Today is a timely reminder to get on it now, before you forget.
Registering to vote in New York is easy.
You have to be a United States citizen; 18 at the time of the vote (but you can preregister at age 16 or 17); a resident of New York and the county, city or village where you live for at least 30 days before the election; not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction; not mentally incompetent (as ruled by a court); and you can’t claim the right to vote elsewhere.
You can register at your local Board of Elections or at many state agencies and public college campuses. You can register by mail; download the registration form, fill it out and mail it. You can also register online through the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which will forward your application to the Board of Elections.
For those who don’t know their registration status, you can check that online by clicking here.
Visit the state Board of Elections website at: https://www.elections.ny.gov for everything you need to know.
If you want to participate in this important election, register today.
You have to be in it to win it.
And you can’t be in this election if you’re not registered to vote.
And earlier version of this editorial said “ballots” must be postmarked by Oct. 9 and received by Oct. 14. It should have said “registration forms.” It has been corrected in this updated version.