If you weren't already aware, today is Register To Vote Day, a national holiday that seeks to celebrate/resuscitate our increasingly fragile democracy through mass registration drives across the country. This year, New York City's public libraries are getting in on the civic holiday spirit, joining forces with the city's Campaign Finance Board to make it "as convenient as possible for New Yorkers to participate in the upcoming midterm elections."
Throughout the day, each of the city's 216 public library branches will offer registration forms to anyone who is not yet registered to vote. Those registering will also be encouraged to sign up for library cards—which, like voting, comes with its own set of personal rewards.
Some branches will also offer related programming—the Spuyten Duyvil library in the Bronx, for example, will be screening Selma at noon. Those who need to update their registrations due to a change in name or address will also have the opportunity do so.
"Voting and having a say is a privilege," NYPL President Anthony W. Marx wrote in a Medium piece today. "And it is our responsibility to take advantage of that privilege... I remember one young man from Ghana who received his citizenship at the Library two years ago. When asked why he was excited to become an American, he became very serious, and uttered quietly, 'I want to have a say. I want to participate.' When asked what he was most excited about, he said, 'Voting.' Choking up, he was only able to continue, 'Yes. Voting.'"
New York also offers online voter registration through the MyDMV web portal. Applications must be received by the board of elections by October 17th in order to vote in the general election—and postmarked no later than October 12th, if you're applying by mail.
In order to vote, you must by a U.S. citizen, a resident of the city for at least 30 days, and 18 years of age. Find more information about where to vote in New York right here.
The hotly anticipated midterm elections take place Tuesday, November 6th. Here's one analysis of what's at stake.