Press Releases

City Bar Offers Voter Registration Guidance for High Schools in New York State

In response to a New York State law requiring high schools and boards of education to promote non-partisan voter registration and pre-registration, the New York City Bar Association’s Civic Education Task Force has developed guidance materials to help schools comply with the law.

New York Election Law §5-507 mandates that by July 1, 2024, high schools and school boards across the state must adopt policies and procedures to facilitate voter registration and pre-registration for students aged 16 and over. Under New York Election Law, a 16- or 17-year-old who preregisters to vote will automatically be registered to vote upon reaching 18. Students 18 years and over who are qualified can register to vote.

To assist schools in meeting this requirement, the City Bar’s Civic Education Task Force has produced three key resources:

  1. Guidance Document: This document answers common questions high schools and school boards may have about the new law and offers best practices for building an effective voter registration program that complies with the law.
  2. Model Voter Registration Policy: The Task Force has crafted a model policy that schools can customize to establish their own voter registration and pre-registration procedures. The policy is designed in compliance with the law while maintaining flexibility for local implementation.
  3. Model High School Voter Registration Program: This template program can be customized to local circumstances or used as a starting point for creating a program.

“Ensuring that all eligible citizens can exercise their right to vote is fundamental to our democracy,” said Susan J. Kohlmann, President of the New York City Bar Association. “These materials will empower high schools across New York to play a vital role in promoting voter engagement and civic participation among the next generation of voters.”

In developing these materials, the Civic Education Task Force received substantial input and contribution from the City Bar’s  Election Law, Education & the Law and Senior Lawyers Committees.

The full set of guidance materials is available for download on the City Bar’s website: