Voting in New York State
Everyone who is a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age or older, can register to vote in New York State. You do not need to be enrolled in a political party to vote in a general election, but you do need to be enrolled in a party to vote in that party’s primary. You must already be registered to vote before Election Day; call the Tompkins County Board of Elections (274-5522) for the deadline. Here is a link to the voter registration form and instructions.
Political Parties in New York State
The Democratic Party is one of two major political parties in New York State; the other is the Republican Party. There are other political parties as well. If you register to vote but do not enroll in a political party, you are “unaffiliated.” Some people call this being an “independent,” but it is not the same thing as being enrolled in the Independence Party.
Decoding Districts and Wards
- Election District or Ward
- This identifies where you vote, not for whom you vote. In an election you go to the same place regardless of who you are voting for.
- County Legislative District
- Elects Tompkins County Legislators
- Legislative districts are generally aligned with political boundaries but, in order to balance the population between districts, some districts may diverge from those political boundaries.
- There are 14 Legislative Districts in Tompkins County
- NY State Senate District
- Elects New York State Senators
- Tompkins County is divided, lying partly in Senate Districts 51, 54, and 58. There are 63 Senate Districts in NY State
- NY State Assembly District
- Elects NY State Assembly members
- Tompkins County is entirely in NYS Assembly District 125
- There are 150 Assembly Districts in NY State Assembly
- NY Congressional District
- Elects Representatives to the United States House of Representatives
- Tompkins County is in NYS Congressional District 23
- United States Congressional Districts in NY State: 27
Find your voting location
You vote at a polling place. Several districts or wards may vote at a particular polling place.
You can find your polling place by calling the Tompkins County Board of Elections (274-5522) or by using the Board of Elections' online maps. On those maps, boundaries in red are for county election districts, while boundaries in yellow are for town or city election districts. Polling places are marked.
You can also use "Voter Lookup," the NY State Voter registration page (https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov).
VoterLookUp allows you to:
- Confirm you are registered to vote in Tompkins County
- Confirm your current party affiliation and your voter status
- Identify your exact polling place and address
- Identify your election and voting districts