The 2016 presidential race has thus far felt a bit like a disturbing fever dream or particularly dystopic episode of Black Mirror, but New Yorkers are just weeks away from confronting the reality of it all: the primaries are on April 19th (yes, really), and if you have any intention of voting in them, your registration has to be in or postmarked by tomorrow, March 25th.
You can check your voter registration status here, where you'll also see which party you're registered with, if any. New York has closed primaries, which means that only voters registered with the party holding the primary can vote. It's too late for registered voters to change their party affiliation, as that deadline passed back in October, thanks to a portion of the state's election law that gives New York the earliest change-of-party deadline of the 11 states that have closed primaries.
So, if you're seeing that you're registered with a party other than the one you'd like to vote in—sorry, too late for you.
If you're not yet registered to vote, you still have time, but don't dawdle. There are three ways you can go about this: in person, by mail, or online. The latter two options should get you processed in time, but if you'd like to avoid anything getting lost in the mail or cyberspace, you might want to go with the first. You can do so at any of the city's Board of Elections offices, all of which are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
Bronx: 1780 Grand Concourse, 5th Floor
Brooklyn: 345 Adams Street, 4th Floor
Manhattan: 200 Varick Street, 10th Floor
Queens: 118-35 Queens Boulevard
Staten Island: 1 Edgewater Plaza, 4th Floor
If mail works better for you, you can download an application here and mail it to any of those offices, whose full addresses are listed here. As long as it's postmarked by March 25th and received by March 30th, you should be good to go.
The DMV also offers online registration, and, as the NYC Campaign Finance Board told us last fall, "registrations filed through the DMV voter registration portal will take effect like any other if filed before the deadline," despite the fact that the DMV says it might be six weeks before you hear back about the status of your application. According to the Board of Elections, the DMV is required to process all applications in a timely manner. However, some campaigns are encouraging voters to eschew this admittedly more convenient route, as they say some voters' registrations may not get processed in time to vote in the primary.
If your address has changed since the last time you voted, that also needs to be noted in the next few days: the Board of Elections must receive your voter registration form with a change of address by March 30th.
Donald Trump has won 738 delegates to date in the Republican primaries, while Ted Cruz follows at 463, Marco Rubio has 166, and John Kasich has 143. On the Democrats' side, Hillary Clinton has won 1,223 delegates, and Bernie Sanders has 920. There are six primaries or caucuses before New York's, and New York has seen a surge in voter registration in recent weeks, with a record 13,961 applications filed on March 18th, according to the governor's office.
Voter turnout this year is up across the board, but has been higher in the Republican party so far—though, as FiveThirtyEight notes, that doesn't necessarily indicate anything about how the general election will go. So, make of that what you will, and get yourself registered by Friday if you've got any inkling of exercising your democratic rights come April 19th.
"If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote. " - David Foster Wallace