The next election might take place on June 22 of 2021 -- if multiple candidates decide to run in one party or another. If there are no June primaries, the next election for Caroline voters will be November 2, 2021. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
When can I vote?
Voters in New York are now able to vote during a 9-day-long period before Election Day, at a limited number of polling locations during limited hours. The locations in 2020 in Tompkins County are:
Town of Ithaca Town Hall 215 N Tioga Street Ithaca, NY 14850
Crash Fire Rescue (C.F.R.) 72 Brown Road Ithaca NY 14850
PLEASE vote early if you can, because that will allow our volunteers to focus on helping the people who have not yet voted.
Find more information at the website of the Tompkins County Board of Elections, here.
Will I be able to vote absentee?
Most likely, yes. Due to COVID-19, the governor made an exception to the rules which allowed all New York State voters to request an absentee ballot for the primary, in the primary and general elections in 2020. Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, we can expect that absentee ballots will be available again to everyone in 2021.
What will the ballot look like?
We don't know yet! There are only 4 ballot lines now: Democratic, Republican, Working Families, and Conservative. Likely any given candidate will appear on two of the 4 lines during a general election.
If a Democratic candidate appears on two lines, which one should I vote on?
All the votes for a candidate on different lines are counted together (this is called fusion voting). It normally doesn't matter which line you vote on. Candidates usually try to get their names on several lines so that someone who might want to vote for them has several options for HOW to vote for them. For example, some rural people might be willing to vote for (Democrat) John Doe but can't bear the thought of voting on the Democratic line.
Who is voting?
In the general election, all registered voters can vote. In a primary, a voter can ONLY vote if they are registered in a party (one of the four named above).
Do I have to be registered?
Yes. The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming June primaries (if there are primaries) will be in May 28th. But if a voter is already registered and wishes to re-register in a new party, that deadline is February 14th. For the general election, people can register to vote up until October 8th.. for the general election is October 9. Registering online via the DMV is possible but often involves delays, so that a person can miss the registration deadline. The recommended way to register is to fill out a paper registration form and deliver it or mail it to the Board of Elections office on Buffalo St. in Ithaca. They will mail you a postcard to confirm your registration -- be sure to follow up with them if you don't get your postcard within a few weeks!
What if I would like to run for office myself?
If you are a Democrat and would like to run for town office in 2021, you should meet with your county Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner, and/or with the Democratic Committee in your town or county. They can advise you on the requirements, especially regarding the petitioning process and deadlines and the filing of financial reports. In particular, anyone wishing to run for Town Board in Caroline, in November 2021, needs to collect signatures to get on the ballot between February 23rd and April 1st.