Elections are a way for citizens to voice their opinions have a say in the future of our towns, states, and country. Mid-term elections are coming on Nov. 6, and New Yorkers will be able to vote on a collective total of 244 elected official positions in the general election. At SUNY, we want to ensure that all students can get to the polls as well-informed citizens, ready to take part in their civic duties to pick leaders that best represent their interests and needs.
Last week, Constitution Day reminded citizens of their constitutional right to vote. Today, those efforts continue on National Voter Registration Day. This year, citizens can exercise their right to vote by helping to choose New York State’s next Governor, Attorney General, and Comptroller. They can also choose one of New York’s two United States Senators. Then, based on a voter’s congressional district, they can choose their representative in the House of Representatives, state senate, and state assembly.
To help students get informed on the voting process, the SUNY Student Assembly has partnered with www.ballotready.org, a service that helps users get fully informed about local and national elections. Users begin by inputting their permanent home address on the website. BallotReady then aggregates data from websites, social media, press, endorsers and board of elections to provide voters with non-partisan information about the candidates they are eligible to vote for in the upcoming election.
For all those first-time voters, know that the voting registration deadline for the general election this year is Oct. 12, 2018 in New York State. Students can register at school or in the county of their school using a local address or your home address.. Keep in mind you can only register in one place. If you happen to choose to register at home while you are away at college, an absentee ballot will need to be requested and mailed in to your corresponding county board of elections office. The last day that voters can postmark an absentee ballot application is Oct. 30.
SUNY campuses are actively involved in promoting voting rights and voting itself. The New York State Election Law mandates that state university campuses develop a program to provide each student with a voter registration application at the beginning of each school year, and during January and February of a presidential election year. SUNY schools have this in place throughout the state.
Do your part to get informed about the issues affecting you and your friends and loved ones. Then on Nov. 6, students who do so can have a say in New York’s, and the country’s, future by voting in our local, county, and state government elections.