HUDSON–The county Board of Elections has issued a reminder that deadlines are nearing for voter registration and for applying for absentee ballots for the November 3 general election.
County residents who are not registered to vote have until this Friday, October 9, to postmark a registration form or to apply in person at the Board of Elections office, downstairs at the county office building, 401 State Street. Individuals honorably discharged from the military since that date and individuals who have become naturalized citizens since that date may register in person until Friday, October 23.
Absentee voting will be available for registered voters who expect to be out of the county or are otherwise unable to get to the polls on Election Day. Voters must apply in advance for an absentee ballot. The application can be picked up and filled out at the Board of Elections or the applicantion can be downloaded from the board’s website, www.columbiacountyny.com/depts/elections. An application will be mailed to any voter who writes or calls the office to request one. The phone number of the office is (518) 828-3115.
Completed applications returned to the board must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 27. The ballots will then be mailed to voters. Completed ballots must be postmarked no later than Monday, November 2.
To accommodate voters who won’t be in the county Election Day, the board will be open two Saturday mornings: October 24 and October 31, from 9 a.m. until noon. The office will also be open until 7 p.m. two Thursday evenings: October 22 and October 29.
Registered voters who wish to change their enrollment from one party to another, or from non-enrolled to enrolled, or vice versa, have until this Friday, October 9, to do so in time for the change to take place this year (after the general election). Party enrollment changes received after October 9 will not take place until after the November 2010 election.
Polls will be open on Election Day from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m., and voters will have their choice of voting on a traditional lever machine or using the new ballot-marking device (BMD), and the democratic process relies on the services and expertise of a host of poll workers, including inspectors, custodians, machine technicians, party representatives and machine recanvassers. Starting with last month’s primary elections, poll site specialists were also present at the polls to help inspectors ensure the smooth operation of the BMD systems and to assist any voter who wishes to use it to cast a ballot. Poll site specialists train alongside inspectors to learn the procedures and the law. They receive special training in the operation of the BMDs and in the Americans with Disabilities Act to make sure that poll sites are accessible to all voters.
A training session for inspectors and poll site specialists, which is mandatory for those officials who have not yet undergone training this year, will be held Saturday, October 17, at Columbia-Greene Community College from 10:30 until noon. A training session for custodians and party representatives will be held earlier that morning from 9-9:30 in the same location.
The Board of Elections seeks civic-minded individuals willing to learn how to become poll workers and encourages anyone to contact the board if interested. The board can be reached Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at (518) 828-3115.