By Erica West, Huntington LWV with contributions from Bobbie Josepher, Nassau LWV
THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WANTS YOU TO BE READY FOR ELECTION DAY 2019
Election Day 2019 is on Tuesday, November 5th from 6 am to 9 pm. Voters in Suffolk County will be electing our County Executive and County Legislators, Town Officials, and Family Court and District Court Judges. In Nassau County, voters will be electing the District Attorney, County Legislators, Town and City Officials, plus Supreme Court Justices and District Court Judges.
Voting is your voice, and to make your voice heard, the League of Women Voters of Huntington wants to help you prepare for the upcoming election. Here’s some important information about your voting rights, including details about two new laws for 2019 that help make voting easier.
Make sure you are registered, and that your registration and party enrollment is up to date:
To be eligible to vote on November 5th, you must be registered to vote by October 11. You can register by mail, in person or online.
If you’re not sure if you’re registered to vote or if your registration information or party enrollment is up to date, you can check with the New York State Board of Elections at https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov It’s also a good idea to check your registration even if you know you’re registered, to make sure your address is current and your party enrollment is correct. If you have any issues with your registration, call the Suffolk County Board of Elections at 631-852-4500 or the Nassau County Board of Elections at 516-571-VOTE (depending on where you live) to find out how to get them resolved.
If you’re a first time voter in New York and you’ve registered by mail, we recommend that you bring ID with you to the poll. ID usually means a current NYS driver’s license, the last four digits of your Social Security number, or if you don’t have either of those things, a copy of a valid photo ID, or a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or some other government documentation that shows your name and address.
Know when and where to vote:
We’re glad to be sharing good news for New York voters this year! Our state now has early in-person voting. From Saturday October 26 through Sunday, November 3rd, polling sites established in each town in Suffolk County will be available for in-person voting. Details on the location and times for each town are on the Suffolk County Board of Elections website at https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/Early-Voting-Information. For Nassau County voters, they are here: https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/566/Board-of-Elections
If you decide not to take advantage of early in-person voting, but you know that you’ll be unable to vote at your regular polling place on Election Day, you may be qualified to vote using an absentee ballot. You can use an absentee ballot if you won’t be able to get to your polling place because you will be away from your home county, or due to illness or injury, or several other circumstances described at the link below. You need ask for one by mailing in an application to the Suffolk County Board of Elections by October 29 or asking for one in person by November 4. You can get an absentee ballot application in person from the Suffolk County Board of Elections, or you can download it from https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html
If you don’t use early voting or absentee voting, then you will need to go to your regular polling place on November 5th. The Suffolk County Board of Elections sends out a postcard to each registered voter showing the voter’s polling place. You can also find your polling place by checking your registration at https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov
What if you’ve recently moved within New York State? Another new law passed in 2019 created a statewide voter registration transfer which allows the Board of Elections to transfer your registration and party enrollment to wherever you move within New York State. This means that if you’ve moved within New York State, you can vote on an affidavit ballot (which we’ve described below) at the poll site of your new address even if your new county board of elections has not yet been notified of your change of address. If you’ve moved within New York State, and you are unsure where you are currently registered or where you should vote, check your voter registration online or call the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
Know what to do if you have a problem at the polling place:
Never leave your polling place without voting! If you get to your polling place, whether you take advantage of early voting or you vote on Election Day, and your name is not in the poll book or there is any other challenge to your eligibility to vote, request an affidavit ballot (sometimes called a provisional ballot or paper ballot). You’ll be asked to swear to or affirm your eligibility to vote, and to provide your voter registration information along with your completed ballot. We’re going to say it again, because it is so important – Never leave your polling place without voting!
OK, we’ve given you the nuts and bolts of making sure you are ready to vote. Now you have some decisions to make, namely, who are you going to vote for? The League of Women Voters of Huntington can help you make that decision. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization, and we do not support or oppose any candidate or political party. As such we have earned a reputation as a trusted source for impartial information on candidates. Our Huntington League is pleased to be sponsoring two Meet the Candidates Debates in October. Details are below. Other Leagues in our area are also sponsoring debates, and we’ll update you on those next month. Additionally, Leagues throughout Long Island are busy preparing to go live with our online resource for personalized voting information, vote411.org.
Meet the Candidates Night Debates in Huntington:
Wednesday, October 16th from 7 – 9 pm:
Candidates for the 13th, 16th, 17th and 18th Districts of the Suffolk County Legislature. It will take place at Five Towns College Performing Arts Center, 305 North Service Road, Dix Hills, NY, just off exit 50 of the Long Island Expressway (entrance on Burrs Lane). It is co-sponsored by Five Towns College.
Tuesday, October 22nd from 7 – 9 pm:
Candidates for Huntington Town Council, Town Clerk and Receiver of Taxes. It will take place at Harborfields Public Library, 31 Broadway, Greenlawn, NY. It is co-sponsored by the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.
All candidates who will be on the ballot have been invited to participate.
About the League of Women Voters of Huntington:
The League of Women Voters of Huntington is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of public policy issues, and influences policy through education and advocacy. Membership is open to women and men 16 years and older. If you are looking for a rewarding opportunity to give back to your community, please consider supporting or joining our League! You can contact us at 631-421-5164, or email LWVHuntingtonNY@gmail.com
The new laws that we describe above, making voting easier for New Yorkers, were made possible by the focused efforts of grass roots groups like the League of Women Voters. We are working hard to make sure your voice is heard!