Information for Voters
We strive to make it possible for all eligible voters to exercise their right to vote. Please use the information below to guide you.
In New York State, as elsewhere, a qualified person must register before they can vote. Below are listed the qualifications a person needs in order to vote, how to get the Registration Form and where to get answers on other registration questions. In order to Register and Vote, a person must:
Although you can register any time during the year, your form must be delivered or mailed at least 25 days before the next election for it to be effective for that election. See upcoming registration deadlines below.
Print the Form
You will need the Adobe ™ Acrobat Reader to view and print the voter registration form. You may download the Adobe program, free, from the Adobe ™ website.
Where to Pick Up the Form
A Voter Registration Form may be obtained by visiting any county board of elections office, post office, department of motor vehicles office, or by calling the Dutchess County Board of Elections at 845-486-2473.
From the State Board
You may request that the State Board of Elections send you a form by clicking here.
The 2014 registration deadlines are available from the State Board of Elections Official 2014 Political Calendar.
2014 September Primary Registration Deadlines
postmark: August 15th
Applications must be postmarked not later than August 15th and received by a board of elections not later than August 20th to be eligible to vote in the September Primary Election. You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the September Primary Election, your application must be received no later than August 20th. Secs. 5-210, 5-211, 5-212
In person: August 15th
In person registration for state/local Primary - the last day an application can be received by board of election to be eligible to vote in state/local primary election is August 15th.
2014 November General Election Registration Deadlines
postmark: October 10th
Applications must be postmarked not later than October 10th and received by a board of elections not later than October 15th to be eligible to vote in the November General Election. You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the November General Election, your application must be received no later than October 15th. Secsc. 5-210(3)
In person: October 10th
In person registration for the November General Election - October 10th is the last day a registration application can be received by board of election to be eligible to vote in the November General Election. If you have been honorably discharged from the military or have become a naturalized citizen since October 10th, you may register in person at the board of elections up until October 24th. 5-211, 5-212
Change of Address Deadlines
If you are a registered voter in the State of New York who has moved to a new county within the State of New York, remember you must re-register in your new county to be eligible to vote at your new address.
Currently registered voters who have moved to a new address in the same county should notify their county board of elections in writing of their move. The Registration Form can be used for this purpose.
September PRIMARY Election CHANGE OF ADDRESS by August 20th
Notices of change of address from registered voters must be received by August 20th by a county board of elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for the 2014 September Primary Election. Sec.5-208(3)
November GENERAL Election CHANGE OF ADDRESS by October 15th
Notices of change of address from registered voters must be received by October 15th by a county board of elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for the 2014 November General Election.
The Board of Elections strives to keep the public informed of changes in the poll sites. However, it is wise to verify your polling location before you go to vote.
Below is a quick listing of links to show all the current Dutchess County pollsites by town:
|Pleasant Valley||Town of Poughkeepsie|
|City of Beacon||City of Poughkeepsie|
WHEN DO I NEED TO RE-REGISTER (send in another form)?
You need to re-register to vote if:
· you moved out of the county then returned;
· you changed your name;
· you want to change your party enrollment
The voter registration form should be used as a change of address form. Notices of change of address from registered voters received at least 20 days before a special, primary or general election by a county board of elections must be processed and entered in the records in time for that election.
HOW CAN I VOTE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS?
You must be enrolled in one of the five recognized parties (i.e., Republican, Democrat, Independence, Conservative, or Working Families) and there must be a primary in the party in which you are enrolled.
HOW DO I INDICATE MY CHOICE OF A PARTY?
You use the same form as you do for registering to vote. In the "Political Party" Section, indicate which party you would like to enroll in. 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.
WHERE DO I VOTE?
Each year, 65 to 75 days before the general election, you should receive a postcard ("mailcheck card") from the Board of Elections verifying your current address. This card also indicates the location of your polling place. If you have any questions about the information provided, call your County Board of Elections. You may also check by going here.
CAN I OBTAIN SPECIAL HELP AT THE POLLS IF I NEED IT?
Yes. A voter may have the assistance of anyone of their choice, so long as the person providing the assistance is not the voter's employer or union agent. If the voter requests assistance from inspectors at the polling place, one from each of the two parties represented there will help.
CAN I TAKE TIME OFF FROM WORK TO VOTE?
Yes. New York State law allows a voter up to two hours with pay to leave work and vote. More information is here.
To vote for a candidate already on the ballot, completely fill in the oval by the candidates; names.
To write in a name not on the ballot, simply write the name in the write-in box. The write-in box is the lowest box on the ballot in the column, under the candidates' names. If you ask, an inspector will show you on the sample ballot displayed in your polling place, which spot you must fill to cast a write-in vote.
Be aware, however, that once you mark the write-in box, you will not be able to vote for a name already on the ballot. You may return the mistenly marked ballot to an inspector (it will be "spoiled") and you can get a new ballot.
NOTE: If you write in the name of someone already appearing on the ballot, your vote for that person will not be counted.
Your vote is protected through a system of technical and administrative safeguards. For example, the ballot box of the voting machine can only be opened at the beginning of the election, before any votes are cast, and at the close of voting by a bipartisan team of inspectors. When the machine is closed, only totals show on the tape.
The number assigned to each voter by the inspectors in no way reveals for whom you voted. This sign-in procedure makes it possible to keep an exact record of the number of votes cast on the machine and to prevent improper casting of ballots.
If you will be absent from your county on election day because of your occupation, business, vacation or studies, you can request an absentee ballot application and vote by absentee ballot in any primary, special or general election.
The application may be obtained from any Board of Elections. Just call, write or apply in person as soon as you know that you will be out of your county. If you are calling or applying by mail, you must do so at least seven days before the election. If you are applying in person, you may do so up to and including the day before the election.
Voters with special needs or disabilities have the option of using the ImageCast Ballot markers. Once marked, the ballot will be printed and then scanned via the ImageCast Ballot Scanner.
If you are unable to vote in person because of illness or physical disability, you may vote by absentee ballot. Normally, applications for absentee ballots must be mailed to the Board of Elections not later than seven days before the election. However, if you become ill or disabled within ten days of the election, you may submit the application up to and including the day before the election.
Persons who are permanently ill or disabled may receive absentee ballots for all future elections by filing only one application indicating your illness or disability. You will then be sent an absentee ballot for every primary, special and general election for which you qualify as a voter.