Obama casts his ballot during early voting in the 2012 U.S. election at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Chicago. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.


New York State Primary elections for both the Republican and Democratic parties are coming up on April 19th, and the deadline for registering for this year’s primary is March 25th, which is less than two weeks away. With 291 delegates at stake on the Democratic side and 95 delegates on the Republican side, New Yorkers might be casting some very important late-stage votes in a volatile and unpredictable election cycle. Here’s how to make sure you can exercise your right to the ballot.

If you haven’t done so yet, the first thing you’ll want to do is check whether you’ve registered to vote here in the past: this handy tool for doing so will even help you establish whether you need to update your address.

The New York Board of Elections is the administrative body that accepts and processes our applications. if you’ve had business at a Department of Motor Vehicles office recently, you may have been registered there. If not, you’ll have to apply by mail or in person at our county’s board of elections, which is located on 4th floor of 345 Adams street in downtown Brooklyn.

Whether you stop by in person or use snail mail, the form you’ll fill out and sign affirms you are legally able to vote. Remember, any citizen over the age of 18 can vote as long as he or she is not a felon currently on parole or in prison. The address you submit does not need to be your permanent one, just your current one, so that your voter registration card can direct you to the correct polling location on the big day. Links to both the Spanish and English language versions of the form can be found here.

One final note: The New York primary is a closed one. This means you can only vote in the primary of the party under which you’re registered. If you’re registered to vote already but not a registered Democrat or Republican, you are out of luck for the April contest– that deadline passed on October 9th of last year. But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to wield your democratic power come November.

Stay tuned for a map of Bushwick’s polling stations and other useful election year intel—and happy voting, Bushwick!