Your Rights as a Voter

Can I vote without a permanent address?

YES! In 1984, Coalition for the Homeless filed the lawsuit Pitts v. Black, which guaranteed the right to vote for homeless New Yorkers living in shelters, on the streets, or in welfare hotels.

What do I need when I go to vote?

Nothing. Arrive at your poll site between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on November 8th for the general election. As long as you registered to vote before the October 14th deadline, you do not need to show identification in order to vote. To ensure your vote is counted, you should vote in the election district where you are registered and confirm your poll site before election day. Voters can also participate in early voting between October 29th and November 6th, but the poll site for early voting may be different. For more information about your poll site, contact the NYC Board of Elections at 1-866-VOTE-NYC or visit

This year, all New York voters can vote by mail due to the risk of contracting the coronavirus. You can select “Temporary illness” as the reason for your request. You can apply for an absentee ballot by October 24th online at or by calling 1-866-VOTE-NYC. You must postmark or drop off your absentee ballot by November 8th. Voters are not permitted to cast a ballot on a voting machine if they have already been issued an absentee ballot for that election, but they can vote by affidavit or paper ballot if needed.

What should I do when I enter the poll site?

At the poll site, you will see tables and voting machines set up for your election district and others. At the table for your district, you will be asked to sign next to a facsimile of your signature on an alphabetized, computerized polling list. If your name does not appear on the roster, ask for an affidavit or paper ballot.

Can I vote if I was incarcerated for a felony conviction or am currently on parole?

If you were incarcerated for a felony conviction and have finished your sentence: Your rights have been reinstated and you are eligible to register and vote in this year’s elections. You can vote while on parole.

What if I have trouble trying to vote?

If your name does not appear on the computerized polling list or you are told that you are not eligible to vote, ask for an affidavit or paper ballot. After November 8th, the Board of Elections will check its records, and your vote will be counted if you are indeed eligible to vote. If not, you will receive a notice that you are not eligible, along with a registration application for future elections. You may also call one of the numbers below for assistance on the day of the election.

For more information or assistance, contact
NYC Board of Elections: 1-866-VOTE-NYC (toll-free) (1-866-868-3692)
NY Attorney General Election Hotline
: 866-390-2992
Coalition for the Homeless: 212-776-2003