(WNY News Now) – With early voting already underway and the General Election Day less than a week away, Chautauqua County Election Commissioners Luz E. Torres and Brian C. Abram have released a comprehensive “Voting 101” guide to assist the county’s 78,694 active registered voters in preparation for November 7th. The guide covers key information about polling hours, redistricting changes, eligibility, absentee ballots, and much more.
Mayville – With the upcoming General Election in Chautauqua County swiftly approaching, Election Commissioners Luz E. Torres and Brian C. Abram are providing a valuable resource for voters with their “Voting 101” guide. Here’s a breakdown of the key information it contains:
General Election Day Details:
- Election Day is scheduled for November 7th, with polling hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. All county poll sites will be open.
- Notable changes in poll sites this year include the relocation of voters from the FSUC Technology Incubator in Dunkirk to the Clarion Hotel on Lakeshore Drive E. and voters who previously voted at the National Comedy Center will now cast their ballots at the Double Tree Hotel on the corner of 4th St & Washington St in Jamestown.
- For a comprehensive list of poll sites, voters can visit www.votechautauqua.com.
Impact of Redistricting:
- Redistricting efforts have affected Election Districts due to changes in County Legislative lines and Ward lines in the City of Jamestown.
- Voters may encounter different setups and may need to visit different tables if their Election District has changed.
- To find their correct poll site and election district, voters are encouraged to consult their 2023 yellow voter information card or visit www.votechautauqua.com.
- Any New York State citizen who is at least 18 years old on the date of the General Election and has previously registered is eligible to vote.
How to Access Voter Information:
- To determine where to vote on Election Day, check the status of an absentee ballot, or verify voter eligibility, visit www.votechautauqua.com and click on “Check Status of Absentee, Voter Registration & Look Where You Vote.”
- Alternatively, voters can call the Board of Elections at 716-753-4580.
View Sample Ballots:
- For those interested in reviewing a sample of the ballot, visit www.votechautauqua.com and click on “Sample Ballots” to access the Election Day ballot.
Moved and Need to Vote?
- If a voter was previously registered anywhere in New York State and is currently in active or inactive voter registration status anywhere in New York State, they may go to their new polling place on Election Day (November 7th) or any county early voting site before the election.
- In such cases, voters should fill out a provisional affidavit ballot, and once their eligibility is confirmed, that ballot will be counted following the Election.
- Both early voters and Election Day voters will sign in to vote using an electronic poll book tablet.
- Signatures provided will be compared to the electronic voter registration signature on file. If a mismatch occurs, the Election Inspector on duty will ask the voter to sign again.
- Once the signature is accepted, a ballot will be issued to the voter.
Ensuring Proper Completion of Absentee Ballots:
- The Board of Elections will notify any voter if an error occurred that might prevent the counting of the absentee ballot.
- A “cure” letter is sent to every voter, offering an opportunity to rectify any errors. Notification may also be via email or phone.
- Common reasons for a ballot not being counted include failing to seal the absentee ballot envelope, not signing the oath on the absentee ballot envelope, or family members signing another voter’s envelope.
Having an Absentee Ballot: Can I Still Vote?
- Requesting an absentee ballot means the voter cannot use an Early Voting or Election Day voting machine, whether they returned the ballot issued or not.
- Voters can use a Provisional Affidavit Ballot instead, which will be reviewed following Election Day. If the absentee ballot was not returned, it will be opened and added to the Election Night totals. The Board will send a postcard to the voter with their determination regarding whether the ballot can be counted.
Accessing Election Results:
- To check the election results, visit www.votechautauqua.com. Live county election night results will be available starting at 9 p.m.
- Absentee and Early Voting totals will be posted on the county website at 9 p.m., with Election Day results added as they become available after polls close.
- Absentee ballots received after 3 PM on Friday, November 3, and Affidavit Ballots will be counted and added to the Election Day totals.
- Absentee Ballots have a 7-day window for return (as long as they are postmarked by Election Day), and valid federal overseas and military ballots have until thirteen days after the election to be received and counted.
For further information and to access the “Voting 101” guide, visit www.votechautauqua.com or contact the Board of Elections at 716-753-4580. Chautauqua County residents are encouraged to participate in the upcoming General Election and exercise their right to vote.