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Election Officials Urge Voters to Register Before Last Minute


Local elections are riding the tide of the presidential race and expecting increased voter turnout. But it’s not a surprise for Onondaga County election officials like Democratic Commissioner of Elections Dustin Czarny.

“Turnout for a presidential election in Onondaga County will run anywhere between 75 and 80-percent, whereas a local election like last year, turnout was around 25 to 30-percent. So, we’re talking about double, triple the amount of votes that are being cast and those do translate down-ballot as well.”

New York State is experiencing record online voter registration through the DMV website. This is just the second year for the website, and it is not yet perfect. But Republican Commissioner of Elections Helen Kiggins Walsh says they’re keeping an eye on things.

“We’re making sure we get a download each day. If something doesn’t come in we call them and say we didn’t get anything on Monday and that’s unusual, so they can track it back. Also, people that do go through My D-M-V do get a receipt, hang on to that receipt. If something does happen then it proves you were registered. It will help you in the long run.”


  • President of the Untied States
  • U.S. Senator
  • 24th District Representative in Congress
  • 50th District State Senator
  • 53rd District State Senator 
  • 120th District Member of Assembly 
  • 126th District Member of Assembly
  • 127th District Member of Assembly 
  • 128th District Member of Assembly
  • 129th District Member of Assembly
  • Onondaga County Court Judge
  • Onondaga County Family Court Judge
  • City of Syracuse Councilor-At-Large

There are no voter ID laws in New York that require a photo ID. A form of ID is only necessary when a person can’t be verified beforehand. Czarny says the current laws work well with the system.
“I think the New York system works to prevent fraud at the polls and also keeps the barrier low for people who are elderly or poor who don’t have the correct I-D, but still are citizens that are able to cast their vote.”

Registration will run online through the 14, and in person through the 15. Higgins and Czarny stress the importance of not waiting to until the last minute.  

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.