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Register to vote by Friday, Oct. 12

October 11, 2018
Editorial , Lake Placid News

You can't vote if you aren't registered, and Friday, Oct. 12 is New York's registration deadline for the Nov. 6 election.

If you recently turned 18 or became a U.S. citizen, or just never registered, you need to register so you can weigh in on local, state and federal government. If you have moved since the last time you voted, your registration needs to be updated.

If you aren't registered in New York but want to vote Nov. 6, your form must be postmarked by Oct. 12 and received by mail at your county Board of Elections office by the following Wednesday - or completed in person at your county Board of Elections office by Oct. 12.

If you are honorably discharged from the U.S. military or become a naturalized U.S. citizen shortly after this Saturday, you get an extra two weeks; you may register in person at your Board of Elections up until Saturday, Oct. 27.

If you've moved, you must submit a registration update form postmarked by Oct. 12 and received by next Wednesday, or completed in person at your county Board of Elections office by next Wednesday.

Oct. 12 is also the firm deadline to change your party affiliation for next year. New York has this ridiculous rule that says if you want to change your party, you have to do it by October for the NEXT year's primaries. New York has closed primaries, which means only enrolled party members can vote to choose that party's candidates for the general election.

It's also a repressive rule; by making it a hassle to register with the party in which you want to vote, it keeps primary voter turnout low. Changing this is one of several voting reforms we urge New York to adopt, including automatic voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

To check whether you are registered and, if so, what address and party you're registered under, go to www.elections.ny.gov, click the button in the middle that says "Want to find out if you are registered and where you vote?" and follow the instructions.

One can register many different ways, but basically it comes down to getting your hands on the right registration form, filling it out and submitting it to your county board of elections.

You can download a form from www.elections.ny.gov or pick one up at any county board of elections office or a wide range of other public offices, such as town halls or libraries.

Then fill out the form and mail it to the Essex County Board of Elections, 7551 Court St., P.O. Box 217, Elizabethtown, NY 12932.

The Essex County office closes at 4:30 p.m.

You can also register to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will forward your application to your county board of elections. Do this in person at the DMV offices in Saranac Lake or Elizabethtown or at dmv.ny.gov.

For more information, call the state Board of Elections at 1-800-FOR-VOTE or your county board of elections: In Essex County, 518-873-3475 (Democrat) or 518-873-3478 (Republican).

Voting is a duty and a privilege, yet too few citizens do it. New York has consistently been among the states with the lowest voter turnout, according to the Poynter Institute's PolitiFact.

Please register and vote.

 
 

 

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