Ask a Reporter is an occasional series about civic engagement in and around the city. Do you have a question about how you can make a difference in your neighborhood, city or state? What about voting, the elections or navigating civic life in New York? Ask us! We want to help you get involved by answering your questions.

Another reminder: Voter registration deadline for New York is this Friday, October 12, so we’re sharing answering some more basic, but important, questions here to get you ready.

Where can I change my registration?
If you want to change your party registration or address or name, you can do that at your borough or county Board of Elections office. The easiest way might actually be through the DMV’s website. Any changes you make before October 12 will be reflected on your November ballot.

What’s the residency requirement for voting in New York?
To register to vote in New York, you must have been a “resident of this state and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election,” says the NY State Board of Elections.

What if I have an apartment in the City and a house upstate? Where do I vote?
This question went all the way to the Appellate Division of the NY State Supreme Court. The people at Vote Where It Counts sum things up this way: “The law is clear. Citizens with dual residences have the right to choose where they want to vote. They do not have to vote where they maintain their primary residence.”

What is the Board of Elections doing to keep voting machines safe from hacking?
After large-scale voter purges in Brooklyn and elsewhere, this has been on a lot of minds. Turns out, the voting machines we use across the five boroughs are generally pretty safe. The NY State Board of Elections takes active measures to keep things that way.

"Stringent rules" are used "to insure that only certified software is used in the voting system," according to John Conklin, Director of Public Information at the NY State Board of Elections. He adds that the state makes sure these voting machines don’t connect to the internet. On top of that, New York is one of the few states that prohibits the county boards of elections from contracting with outside vendors to program these machines.

Still, Larry Norden, Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, says there’s more the state could do. For one, they could provide more provisional ballots, because even if the machines aren’t being hacked left and right, they’re still machines and they can go out of order.

Norden added that voting machines are less a target for savvy hackers than the voter registration rolls themselves, and it’s from these rolls that people may find they’ve been removed. Which brings us to the next question...

So what can I do to make sure I don’t get removed from the voting rolls?
Check. Check your voting registration. Even if you’re already registered. Even if you’ve voted in every election since 1968. You can do that in person at your borough or county board of elections office, or online here. And if you can’t find yourself on the voting rolls on Election Day (that’s what happened on Primary Day for some voters), be sure to demand an affidavit ballot.