Early voting starts Oct. 26 for fall election

Students at SUNY Canton register to vote Tuesday on campus. Early voting for the Nov. 5 general election starts Oct. 26. Submitted photo

Like voters across the state, north country residents will have a chance to go to the polls prior to the Nov. 5 election.

This is the first year the state has offered early voting, and counties have made plans to accommodate the new policy by scheduling early voting every day between Oct. 26 and Nov. 3, including weekends.

St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties each have set up one central site for early voting.

“Some people think they can go to their regular polling place, but there is only one place for early voting,” said Thomas P. Nichols, St. Lawrence County’s Republican Elections Commissioner.

In St. Lawrence County, it’s at the Board of Elections office, the second floor of the Human Services Building, 80 Route 310, Canton. The site is served by local bus routes and is accessible to voters with disabilities.

In Jefferson County, early voting is at the county office building, 175 Arsenal St., Watertown. The early voting site in Lewis County is the Lowville town and village offices, 5535 Bostwick St., Lowville.

All registered voters may vote early and the same process will be used as on Election Day. People will sign in at the polling site, be given a ballot sheet and then head into a private booth to cast their ballots. Instructions to familiarize voters with their local ballots will be available, like at their customary polling site.

The deadline for registering to vote in the Nov. 5 election is Oct. 11.

“We have no idea what the early turnout will be, but our hope is to get more people involved in the process,” Mr. Nichols said.

Those who vote in person cannot vote again on Election Day.

Absentee voting is still an option for registered voters. In all three counties, applications sent by mail for absentee ballots must be postmarked by Oct. 29 or applied for in person at an elections office by 5 p.m. Nov. 4.

Voters can apply for an absentee ballot if they expect to be out of their respective counties on Election Day, are permanently or temporarily disabled or ill, are the primary caregiver for someone who is ill or physically disabled, they reside in a Veterans Health Administration Hospital, are detained in jail awaiting grand jury action, or if they are incarcerated for a non-felony offense.

Mr. Nichols said elections officials are prohibited from counting early voting until after 9 p.m. when polls close on Election Day.

For more information, the state Board of Elections can be reached at 518-474-1953 or at www.elections.ny.gov.

Early voting times

Jefferson and Lewis counties:

* Saturday, Oct. 26; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Sunday,Oct. 27; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Monday, Oct. 28: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Tuesday, Oct. 29; noon to 8 p.m.

* Wednesday, Oct. 30; noon to 8 p.m.

* Thursday, Oct. 31; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Friday, Nov. 1; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Saturday, Nov. 2: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Sunday, Nov. 3; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

St. Lawrence County:

* Saturday, Oct. 26; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Sunday, Oct. 27: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Monday, Oct. 28; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Tuesday, Oct. 29; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

* Wednesday, Oct. 30; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

* Thursday, Oct. 31; 9 a,m. to 5 p.m.

* Friday, Nov. 1; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

* Saturday, Nov. 2; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

* Sunday, Nov. 3; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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