By Assemblyman Will Barclay
The next general election will be held on Nov. 6. Many changes have taken place in recent years when it comes to casting your vote, all in an effort to improve the process, make it more accurate and allow a voter with disabilities to privately and independently vote on a paper ballot.
Both Oswego and Onondaga counties use ImageCast voting machines, http://www.vote-ny.com/english/machine-sequoia.php
Voters mark a paper ballot with a special pen, insert their ballot into a privacy sleeve and then submit the form to be scanned through the new voting machines.
If you recall, such changes were prompted by federal law to make voting both more accessible and private for anyone with a disability as well as to eliminate those hanging chads that became a problem in the Presidential election of 2000.
That was the election where partially punctured ballots infamously came into question. Thus, the voting machines were replaced with new technology that, hopefully, leaves less up to interpretation.
Online Voter Registration Now Available
New York recently made voter enrollment easier by providing an online registration option.
The Governor’s office reported recently that more than 16,000 New Yorkers, including almost 6,000 first-time voters, have used the Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV) new online voter registration service.
New Yorkers can now apply to register to vote, or update their address or party enrollment through https://my.dmv.ny.gov/crm/
It can be used by any New Yorker with a driver’s license or non-driver ID. New Yorkers may also complete a digital voter registration application at the DMV. This will soon be available at every DMV office in the state.
According the Governor’s office, New York is ranked 47th in the nation in voter registration, with less than 64% of eligible residents registered to vote. The new system replaces the vast majority of paper forms. The measure is expected to save the state and county board of elections money.
I sponsor legislation that would allow those applying for a hunting or fishing license to register to vote at the same time. Bill A4222 would allow any qualified person to apply for voter registration and enrollment by application at the same time they apply for any hunting or fishing license.
The Department of Environmental Conservation would work with the New York State Board of Elections in developing such a form. This bill is currently on the election law committee of the Assembly.
Deadline to Register this month
If you haven’t registered to vote or if you have moved or wish to change party affiliation, there is still time to do so for this next election.
If you would rather not use the Department of Motor Vehicle’s online tools, you can download a voter registration form at http://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html
If you live in Oswego County, you can mail the form to Oswego County Board of Elections, 185 E. Seneca St., Box 9, Oswego, NY 13126. If you live in Onondaga County, you can mail the form to Onondaga County Board of Elections, 1000 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse, NY 13204.
If you do not have internet access, you may call 1-800-FOR-VOTE and request a form be mailed to you.
Upcoming general election deadlines are as follows. Applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 12 and received in person by a board of elections no later than Oct. 17 to be eligible to vote in the General Election. Oct. 17 is the last date that the county board of elections are allowed to accept new or updated voter registration forms. If you plan to mail your registration form, it must be postmarked by Oct. 12.
The only exception to the deadlines is if you have been honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen since October 12th, you may register in person at the board of elections up until Oct. 26.
If you wish to submit an absentee ballot, you may download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form.
You may also call 1-800-FOR-VOTE to receive one by mail. Applications must be mailed to your county board as well. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Oct. 30.
If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.
My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.
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