It’s registration day
Today is the deadline to register to vote for the Nov. 7 election, or to change the party affiliation in time to vote in next year’s primary elections. We wrote a three-part editorial series about this two weeks ago, but reminders help, so here is the basic information again.
¯ If you want to vote Nov. 7 but aren’t registered in New York, your form must be postmarked by today and received by Wednesday, or completed in person at the county Board of Elections office by today.
¯ To update the address on your registration in time to vote on Nov. 7, your form must be postmarked by today and received by Wednesday, or completed in person at the county Board of Elections office by Wednesday.
¯ To change your party affiliation in time to vote in a chosen party’s primaries next year — getting to choose among the numerous candidates to serve the North Country in the U.S. House of Representatives — today is the absolute deadline. If your county board of elections staff doesn’t receive your paperwork before they go home today, either by mail or in person, then for all of 2018 you’re stuck with whatever party (or none) you have now.
The Franklin County Board of Elections office in Malone closes at 4 p.m., and the Essex County office in Elizebethtown closes at 4:30, so if you haven’t registered yet, get cracking.
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.
First, you may want to check whether you are registered and, if so, what address and political 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.
You can download a form from that website 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.
When you have filled out the form, mail it to one of the following, depending on which county you live in:
¯ Franklin County Board of Elections, 355 West Main St., Malone, NY 12953.
¯ Essex County Board of Elections, 7551 Court St., P.O. Box 217, Elizabethtown, NY 12932.
You can also register to vote through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will forward your application to your county board of elections. You can do this in person at the DMV office in Saranac Lake’s Harrietstown Town Hall, 39 Main St., or at https://dmv.ny.gov.
To qualify to register to vote, you must:
¯ be a United States citizen
¯ be 18 years old by Dec. 31 of the year in which you file this form (Note: You must also be 18 years old by the date of the election in which you want to vote)
¯ live at your 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.
For more information, call the state Board of Elections at 1-800-FOR-VOTE or your county board of elections: In Franklin County, 518-481-1663 (Republican) or 481-1664 (Democrat); in Essex County, 518-873-3475 (Democrat) or 518-873-3478 or (Republican).
Voting is a duty and a privilege, but you can’t do it if you aren’t registered.