In an election season dominated by salacious headlines, it's easy to forget what truly matters: your vote.
But are you registered? Voting in the primaries? What the hell is a run-off?
For New Yorkers in need of a refresher on fulfilling your civic duty, fear not. Here's a simple guide on how to successfully cast your vote:
Let's start simple. When is the general election?
November 5, 2013.
Am I even eligible to vote?
As long as you're a United States citizen, 18 or older, and have lived in New York City for at least 30 days, you're cleared to vote.
That's great news. How do I know if I'm registered?
The state's Board of Elections includes a database of registered voters in New York City. Simply enter in your information here and find out.
Woops, I'm not registered. How should I go about doing that?
You have two options: register in person or mail in a completed registration form.
If registering in person, here are the addresses of where you can do so.
If mailing in your form, click here to download (multiple languages available) and send to:
Board of Elections in the City of New York
32 Broadway, 7 Fl
New York, NY 10004-1609
Just remember, you have until October 11 to register for the general election.
Am I voting in the primary elections?
Up to you! But you must be registered to vote in your party's primary, and only those registered within that party are able to vote. You must register to vote by August 16th in order to vote in the primary. The primary elections are scheduled for September 10th, when a candidate must be able to secure 40 percent of the vote in order to win.
What happens if none of the candidates can do that?
Hence, the run-off! If no single candidate of that party can capture a 40 percent majority, the top two candidates will face off again on October 1. (This will likely happen for the top two Democratic candidates for mayor.)
Ok, it's go time. Where do I physically vote?
Find your polling station here or call 1-866-VOTE-NYC. Good luck!