Hofstra Votes

Voting FAQ

Registering to vote is easy – most states provide an online registration option. As a college student, you can register in your home state, and vote by absentee ballot, or you can register using your school address and vote locally, in person.

But registration and absentee ballot deadlines vary by state. For example, in Louisiana you have to register at least 30 days before Election Day while North Dakota doesn’t require voters to register at all. And if you plan on casting an absentee ballot, it can get a little complicated, with even more deadlines to meet.

But #HofstraVotes has got you covered. We’ve partnered with Rock the Vote to give you an easy way to register, no matter where you’re from.

The most important thing is to get started EARLY because Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6 - and that’s right around the corner.

Here are answers to some common questions about registering and voting:

  • Am I eligible to vote?
    Registration and voting rules vary by state, but the basics are the same everywhere:
    • You must be at least 18
    • You must be a US citizen
    • You must be registered to vote in your state (except in North Dakota)
    • Every state has absentee voting
  • Can I register to vote in my home state AND college state?
    As a college student, you can register either at your home or college address, but not both.
  • How do I vote by absentee ballot in my home state??
    The rules and deadlines for absentee ballot voting are different in every state. These two links can help you make sense of it:
  • How do I register to vote?
    Follow this link to use our Rock the Vote voter registration application. Also,  Hofstra is sponsoring a series of voter registration events on campus during September and October – check out the calendar at Hofstra.edu/votes or watch for #HofstraVotes announcements on social media.
  • I think I may already be registered to vote, but I’m not sure.
    No problem. You can check check your polling place here to figure that out. Just select the state where you think you’re registered and follow the prompts.
  • Does where I register to vote affect my scholarships or my federal financial aid package?
  • Will registering at a different address from my parents affect their ability to claim me as a dependent on their taxes?
  • I’m not 18, but I will be by Election Day. Can I register?
    Yes, in most states.
  • Do I need to pick a party when I register to vote?
    No, however some states require you enroll in a party to vote in that party’s primary election.
  • Do I need to bring some form of ID if I’m voting in person?
    That depends on which state you’re voting in. New York does not have a voter ID requirement. In those states that do require an ID, some accept student IDs. Check out this map for more information.
  • I’m a first-time voter and I don’t know how to use a voting machine. Help!
    The two most common types of voting machines used in the US are optical-scan ballots (in which you mark your ballot and feed it into a scanner) or direct-electronic recording devices, such as touchscreens. Check the #HofstraVotes calendar for information on upcoming voting machine demonstrations planned on campus. We’ll have officials from the Nassau County Board of Elections on hand to show you how to use its optical-scan ballots, and let you practice.
  • I’m physically challenged. Will my local polling place be able to accommodate my needs?
    The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires jurisdictions responsible for conducting federal elections to provide at least one accessible voting system for individuals with disabilities at each polling place. Here are some resources about voting rights for individuals with disabilities:
  • How do I find out where my polling place is located?
    Use the National Association of Secretaries of State Polling Place Finder. Click on the state where you’re registered and follow the prompts.