Your voting questions answered
With Election Day almost here, some last-minute advice for voters:
The Metro Syracuse League of Women Voters (which includes Syracuse, Auburn and Oswego) has been working hard to ensure that record high registrations and absentee ballot requests turn into record turnout at the polls for a mid-term election.
Early in the day we spoke with Joan Durant, with the League's voter services. She says a lot of people sit at home instead of turning out, because polls say their candidate is going to win, so they stay home. She points out that politicians DO check who votes (the records are public, though the records do not include who you vote for). 'If you don't bother to share your voice and your opinions using the ballot box, then you have no rights to complain or call politicians up."
Joan was also part of our Answer Desk panel on Monday evening, as we answered phones and emails. Here are some of the takeaways:
>Need a ride to the polls? In Onondaga County, start by calling the political parties. Democrats: (315) 422-0345, Republicans (315) 449-2000. In the city of Syracuse, the NAACP is also doing rides: (315) 440-6340
You can also call the candidates, or, outside of Onondaga County check with your Board of Election (click on your county on the State website: http://www.elections.ny.gov/CountyBoards.html
>Need information on candidates? Go to the BallotReady website, input your address and the ballot for your area will come up. Click on the races and candidates' pictures will come up. Click on them for more information.
>What to take, what to leave behind when voting Republican Elections Commissioner Michele Sardo tells us that first-time voters need to take along an id (like a drivers' license). ANd, DO NOT take any 'political propaganda' representing candidates on the ballot (buttons or other campaign materials). Election inspectors will tell you to cover it up or remove it.
>What happens if you're turned away from the polling place? Democratic Elections commissioner Dustin Czarny says call the Board of Elections (315) 435-VOTE. They will decide if you need an affidavit or court order to cast your ballot (It's probable you'll have to go to the Board and talk to a judge. Both judges and lawyers will be on duty at the Board of Elections, for the whole time polling places are open.
>Polls are open on Tuesday, November 6 6am to 9pm And the League's Mary Kuhn has the last word: "People can be registered as much as they want, unless they show up at the polls, it doesn't matter"
We know that Election Day is also eating day, with many groups serving lunches and dinners. You can see our list here: http://cnycentral.com/news/neighborhood/in-your-community-cny-events-calendar