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Veterans Day Reminds Us Importance of Right to Vote

Last week we cast our vote. In a non-presidential election, voter turnout is historically lower, however, no less important. It’s here that we decide who will represent us to decide how taxpayer dollars are spent and determine public policy. To be able to vote in an election is a right our forefathers fought for and is just one more reason we should be mindful and appreciative of our veterans this week.

This year, voters in Oswego County and some voters in Onondaga County experienced a new voting method. Rather than risking a “hanging chad,” voters now choose their representatives with a pen and are asked to fill in the appropriate square, much like on a school exam. The ballot, which has not varied in size or appearance too much, is then fed into an optical scanner. These scanners replace the old lever-style voting machines. Though it’s still considered in its pilot phase, this newer method is slowly being implemented across the state. According to the New York State Board of Elections, the plan is to have the new voting machines in place and in working order for the entire state by the 2010 Fall election.

According to the New York State Board of Elections, there are 74,012 active voters in Oswego County. This is in comparison to roughly 94,690 people in Oswego County who are eligible to vote. Similarly, in Onondaga County, there are roughly 348,528 eligible voters, while only 283,467 are active voters. I would encourage you to visit the board of elections website. It is here you can view your registration profile, which includes information on your legislative districts, your party affiliation and your polling site: https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx.

If you have moved, it’s easy to update your address as well. Any changes in address or party affiliation must be done through the U.S. mail, however, you can download forms through the website. Any questions voters have may also be answered through this website, as the state’s election law can be viewed in its entirety at www.elections.state.ny.us/ElectionLaw.html.

Many municipalities are in need of poll workers. In most cases, this is paid work, albeit temporary. Those with interest in applying, may do so online at www.vote-ny.com/