With voter participation so low in New York, it can be easy for misinformation about the voting process to spread. From claims like "There is a limit to how often you can vote in one year" to "You can take a photo of your ballot," NY1 puts some voting myths to the sword.
Do you have a question about a claim you're unsure is an election myth? Send us your questions via #NY1Politics
You can vote online in New York
The polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in New York City, but online voting is a myth. If you can't physically cast your ballot, however, you can mail an absentee one before certain deadlines this year.
You cannot cast your ballot before Election Day
Yes, you can! Early voting will take place between Oct. 23 and Oct. 31.
There is a limit to how often you can vote in one year
Nope. If you voted in the primaries or not, you can vote in the general election in November. (You can obviously only vote once in each of those individual elections.)
If someone enters a polling site but doesn't vote, they will be asked to leave
You can bring in your children, friends, and anyone else. Anyone who doesn't vote can wait while you cast your ballot.
You must register to vote before every election
Incorrect. The Board of Elections was lambasted in 2016 when it removed thousands of voters from Brooklyn rolls, but when you register to vote, you are permanently registered unless you are purged from the system for inactivity (if you have not voted in two consecutive federal elections, you are declared an inactive voter one year after the second federal election), convicted of a felony and have not been granted parole, or ruled mentally incompetent by a court.
If you don't cast your ballot by 9 p.m., you will be thrown out of the polling site
That's not allowed. All you have to do is get inside before poll workers lock the doors at 9 p.m. to give your vote.
You must bring identification like a birth certificate
New Yorkers simply need to find their polling site and sign next to their name on the voter roll. Some states have voter ID laws, requiring an identification card or some other document to establish identity, but that is not required in the Empire State. Voter IDs are a hot-button topic in the United States, but elected officials throughout New York have made it clear that people do not have to show identification to exercise their right to vote.
You must adhere to a dress code
You may get compliments, but you don't need to dress up to participate in democracy.
You can fill your ballot with a pencil
Ballots need to be filled out with a pen with blue or black ink, not a pencil. But don't worry if you don't have a pen: One is attached to each individual privacy booth when you make your choice.
If you change your name or address during the year, you cannot vote
Changing your name or address doesn't bar you from voting. You should, however, re-register to vote in order to enable the BOE to update your address. A county board of elections must receive documentation of a change of name or address at least 25 days before a special, primary, or general election. If you moved but did not change your address with the BOE before the deadline, per the New York City Campaign Finance Board, you should submit an affidavit ballot.
Only people who speak English can vote
Anyone registered to vote can cast a ballot, regardless of what language they speak. Polling sites provide information and ballots in multiple languages.
People who were convicted of crimes cannot vote
Actually, parolees can cast their ballots. In April 2018, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to give all New York state parolees the right to vote. New York isn't an outlier on the issue, as over a dozen states allow parolees to vote.
U.S. citizens cannot vote from outside the country
If your permanent residency is in one of the 50 states, you can cast your ballot no matter where you are on the day of the election — you would just have to submit an absentee ballot if you won't be at a polling site in-person.
If you display partisan or campaign material inside the polling site, you will be asked to leave
You can wear any campaign or political party flair, and people often do. As long as you are not actively campaigning inside a polling site, you are free to wear a campaign button, a MAGA hat, or your old "Yes we can" memorabilia.
Your old schools are your polling sites
A trip down memory lane is not required to vote. Your polling site is established based on your address. Click here to find your local polling site.
It's totally OK to take a selfie with your ballot
Just because Justin Timberlake did it, doesn't mean you can too. New York is one of several states that prohibits photos showing a completed ballot or displaying how a person voted. Federal courts have struck down such bans in some other states, but you'll have to show your pride in some other way if you vote in New York.
Taking one of those "I Voted" stickers is required to cast a ballot
No, but if you take one and are trying to figure out what to do with it, you can always do this:
Not sure I can count on @BOENYC to make sure these things aren't toxic. pic.twitter.com/t7kzDl9WvI— Lindsey Christ (@LindseyChrist) November 8, 2017