VOTING IN CORTLAND COUNTY
TO REGISTER TO VOTE YOU MUST:
HOW DO I REGISTER
You can obtain a mail registration form by calling 607-753-5032. Forms are also available at most government offices, post offices and libraries. Complete the form and mail it to your County Board of Elections. You may also register in person at your County Board of Elections.
You need to re-register to vote if:
you moved out of the county
change your name
change your party enrollment
If you move within your county call your County Board of Elections for specific instructions.
HOW DO I INDICATE MY CHOICE OF A PARTY
You use the same form as you do for registering to vote. In Section 1, indicate that you are filing either a new registration or a change of enrollment; then complete Section 10.
NOTE: If you are already registered and are filing a change of enrollment; the change will not take effect until after the next November general election.
You can register in person at your county board of elections on any business day except election day. If you want to vote in a election, you must mail or deliver this form to your county board of elections no later than 25 days before the election in which you want to vote. Your eligibility to vote will be based on the date you file this form, and your county board will notify you of your eligibility.
HOW TO USE A VOTING MACHINE
1. The Ballot:
As the sample below shows, a ballot is just a simple chart. The first row indicates the offices that are up for election. The first column indicates the political parties. Candidates' names appear in the boxes that corresponds to their party affiliation and the office they are running for. In this example, John Smith is running for State Senator as a Democrat. Jane Jones is his Republican opponent.
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2. The Voting Booth:
Voting Booths may look like complicated machines, but they are actually very easy to use. Here are the four easy steps to using a voting booth:
Step 1: Sign In
When you arrive at your polling place, sign in at the front table.
Step 2: Enter the Booth
Enter the booth and pull the large handle from the left side of the booth all the way to the right side. This will close the curtain behind you. On some machines, the handle may be located below the ballot. On others, it may be located above the ballot.
Step 3: Vote
Vote by pulling down on the lever above your candidates' name on the ballot, or by using a write-in ballot.
USING THE BALLOT LEVERS:
If you vote by lever, be sure to pull the lever all the way down so it covers your candidates' name. An "X" will appear above the candidates' name. If you change your mind, you may lift the lever and choose another candidate. After you are done voting, leave the levers of your final choices down. If you lift them back up before you leave the booth, your votes won't be counted.
USING WRITE-IN BALLOTS:
For those who wish to vote for a candidate who doesn't appear on the ballot, there are write-in slips located above the ballot. Open the door covering the slip, print the name of your candidate legibly, and close the cover.
Step 4: Exit the Booth
Pull the red lever from the right all the way over to the left. This will open the curtain and register your votes in the machine. All the levers you pulled will return to their upright position. Exit the booth.
Who is eligible for an Absentee Ballot?
Any registered voter who will be out of their county of residence on any primary, special or general election day due to occupation, business, vacation or studies; is ill or disabled; or detained in jail awaiting grand jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony, may apply for an absentee ballot.
Anyone who is permanently ill or disabled may apply for permanent absentee ballot. The Board of Elections will investigate the facts given and, if satisfied, will mark the voter's record "Permanently Disabled", a ballot will automatically be mailed for each election thereafter in which the voter is qualified to vote.
In New York State you may not vote in a primary election unless you are enrolled in the political party holding a primary. In this case, an absentee ballot would not be issued to anyone not enrolled in a party. You may enroll in a party at anytime, but be aware that any change is not effective until after the next general election.
HOW DOES AN ABSENTEE BALLOT WORK?
An absentee ballot is a paper ballot which looks exactly like the ballot on the voting machine. In this manner, your vote remains secret.
Keep in mind that unless the oath is signed and the ballot is enclosed in the secrecy envelope, your ballot will not counted.
This ballot, if mailed, must be postmarked no later than the day before election or, if personally delivered, must be received by the Board of Elections no later than the close of polls on election day; 9:00 PM
HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
It's easy. Anytime during the year you may telephone or write to your County Board of Elections requesting an application for the ballot. You may also apply in person at the Board of Elections, or have someone pick up the application for you.
Upon completion, the application must be mailed to the Board of Elections no later than seven days before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.
WHAT IF I HAVE NO ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION AVAILABLE?
Absentee ballots may also be requested by a letter which must be received by the Board of Elections no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. This letter must contain:
the address where you are registered
the address to which you want the ballot mailed
the reason for the request
the signature of the applicant
An absentee ballot will be sent along with an application form which you must then complete and return with your ballot.
Remember, unless you are eligible for a permanent absentee ballot or will be continuously absent between the dates of primary and general election, you must file an application for each election.
WHEN DO I APPLY FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
You may request an absentee ballot application at any time.
If you mail an application, it must be postmarked no later than seven days before the election for which you are requesting the absentee ballot. If you are delivering the application in person (or someone you have designated is delivering it for you) you may do so up until close of business (5pm) the day before the Election.
NOTES FOR THE ABSENTEE VOTER
Apply for your absentee ballot as soon as you know you will need it
Once the ballots are printed, you can apply for, receive, and cast your ballot all in on trip to the County Board of Elections.
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