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Civic Group Continues Push to Get Voters Registered, Educated, and to Cast a Ballot

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WAER file photo
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The Syracuse Metropolitan Area chapter of the League of Women Voters is continuing efforts to educate, register and encourage residents to vote in the upcoming November election. The League is asking voters to plan to vote in-person at an early voting site, while also applying for an absentee ballot. League member Joan Durant says this allows voters multiple options before Election Day.

"It's very important in New York State because if we change our mind, something happens...can you imagine something happening right now?" she said with a hint of sarcasm.  "Then you can vote in person.  Your in person vote would count; your absentee vote would not count."

Durant says absentee ballots do not need to be mailed, and can be hand delivered to the Board of Elections.   League member Diane Dwire has sat in on absentee ballot counts.  She says they are just as safe as voting in person.

"Over the years, I've sat in when we read the absentees.  I'm very, very confident of the quality and how they handle readint the absentee ballots and accounting for them."

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Credit WAER file photo
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Diane Dwire, left, poses with a voter during her previous run for Assembly.

Dwire says New York State will grant a five day grace period for incorrect ballots to be corrected and re-sent for counting.

The League is also committed to educating voters on candidates before they cast a ballot.  Durant says older voters may have trouble learning about their candidates.

"I did have a woman at the Nottingham who didn't know who the candidates were.  She really didn't want to read anything; she only wanted to vote for the people she knew.  She left the rest of the ballot empty except for a few places."

The League promotes the website vote411.org, which provides localized comparisons of candidates on the ballot.  Candidates are encouraged to share where they stand on the issues, but Durant says not all candidates do.

"I don't care what party they're from, if we don't have educated voters, then we just lost the whole system."

The deadline to register to vote is this Friday.  The League will be holding registration drives for voters around the city through that deadline.  In Onondaga County, the website is onvote.net.