There's still plenty of time to register to vote
Despite the dismal turnout at the Sept. 13 primary elections in Yates County, interest in the general election appears to be ramping up with a rise in voter registrations and applications for absentee ballots say local election officials.
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 14 and with online options and extended hours at the local Board of Elections office, there are lots of opportunities to complete the task.
Yates County Board of Elections officials, whose office is located in the Yates County Office Building are planning extended hours Oct. 13 and 15 and other outreach efforts to make registering to vote easy.
New voters, those needing to make address changes or party changes can visit the commissioner’s office at 417 Liberty St., Penn Yan from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday through Oct. 14. In addition, the office will be open until 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13, and from 2 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.
New Yorkers looking to register to vote, or to change their enrollment information, can do so easily by using the state’s online voter registration service on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.
Registraion forms can also be obtained at www.yatescounty.org or at any local post office or town hall. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked no later than Oct. 14 and received no later than Oct. 19.
The Yates County commissioners, Robert Brechko (Democrat) and Amy Daines (Republican) report that registrations and applications for absentee ballots are increasing across the board this year with elevated interest in the Presidential election between Donald Trump (R), Hillary Clinton (D), Gary Johnson (Libertarian) or Jill Stein (Green).
And while voters may be motivated to voice their opinion on who serves in the White House for the next four years, they will also elect:
• U.S. Senate: Incumbent Democrat Charles Schumer is being challenged by Republican Wendy Long
• U.S. Representative in Congress: Incumbent Republican Thomas Reed of Corning is being challenged by Jamestown area Democrat John Plumb.
• New York State Senate (58th District): Incumbent Republican Tom O’Mara is being challenged by Democrat Leslie Danks Burke
• New York State Assembly (132nd District): Incumbent Republican Philip Palmesano is running unopposed.
• Yates County Coroner: Republican Ronald Dailey is running unopposed after petitions filed by incumbent Theron Smith were disqualified.
• Milo Highway Superintendent: Republican incumbent Lance Yonge is running unopposed.
No other local offices will be elected, but voters will choose two representatives to the New York State Democratic Committee, two Republican delegates and two alternate delegates to the 132nd Assembly.
Valerie Brechko and Paul Warden are seeking the Democratic seats.
Sandra King and Patrick Galvin are listed as candidates for the Republican delegate positions and Leigh Williams and John Predergast are candidates for the alternate posts.
To register to vote, a New Yorker must:
· Be a United States citizen.
· Be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you submit the form (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the general, primary or other election in which you want to vote).
· Live at their present address at least 30 days before an election.
· Not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction.
· Not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court.
· Not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
A list of frequently asked questions about registering to vote through DMV can be found on DMV’s website.
How to register at the New York State DMV website
Previously, New Yorkers needed to sign up for a MyDMV account to register to vote online. Thanks to a new feature on the website, applicants can simply visit the voter registration page on the DMV website. The application takes only a few minutes to complete and no longer requires that a MyDMV account be created to participate. Customers must enter information from their New York State driver license, permit, or non-driver ID, their date of birth, current zip code, last four digits of their Social Security Number, and their email address. The information provided is validated to ensure accuracy and security.
New York State officials say since its launch, the DMV online registration system has processed more than 467,000 voter registration applications —182,500 for first-time voters.
Voters who won’t be able to visit their designated polling place on Nov. 8 can cast their ballot by absentee ballot. The last day to postmark an application or letter of application for an absentee ballot is Nov. 1. Nov. 7 is the last day to apply in person or postmark the absentee ballot. They must be received by the county board no later than Nov. 15. The last day to deliver an absentee ballot in person to the county board is Nov. 8.
More information about registering and voting can be found on the Board of Elections page of the Yates County website at www.yatescounty.org.