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, you must register in advance before you can vote.
In order to register to vote, you must:
Although you can register any time during the year, your completed form must be delivered or mailed at least 25 days before the next election for it to be effective for that election.
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, or 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 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;
· changed your name or address;
· 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 parties recognized in New York State (i.e., Republican, Democrat, Independence, Conservative, or Working Families) and that party must be having a primary.
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 for that office. If you ask, an inspector will show you on the posted sample ballot which box you must use 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. If you change your mind you may return the incorrectly 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 whose name is printed on the ballot, your vote for that person will not be counted at all.
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 shut down at the end of the day, only totals show on the tape, not individual votes.
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 ballots issued and number of votes cast on the machine, to prevent improper casting of ballots.
If you will be absent from the county on election day you can request an absentee ballot application and vote by absentee ballot in any primary, special or general election if otherwise eligible.
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 the 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 by the machine, 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.