FAQ

Can anyone vote in the General Election?

Yes, if you are registered to vote. All registered voters can vote in a General Election. Voters can vote for the candidate of their choice at a General Election. We encourage all registered voters in Steuben County to come out and vote.

What is a Primary Election?

A Primary Election occurs when you have more candidates on the same party line, running for the same position, than there are positions to be filled. A Primary Election is only held when this happens. 

Registered voters of the party(s) having a primary get the opportunity to vote for the candidate(s) they want to represent them on the ballot in November.

Primaries are very important – but there is normally a very low turnout.

 

Can I Vote in a Primary Election?

It will depend on the following:
-Is the Primary being held for the party you are registered in? 
-Is the Primary being held in your voting district/ward?
-If you answered yes to both questions then you can vote in that Primary.

Primaries are only held if there is a need for one. Check our home page to see if there is a primary for your party affiliation in your voting district.

What are the hours for voting on Election Day? 

Primary Election poll are open from Noon until 9pm.
General Election (held in November) polls are open from 6 am until 9 pm.

 

 

Where do I go to vote? 

Every registered voter is assigned a specific Polling Place and District where they are to vote. This is determined by where you live. If you are unsure where you go to vote, please click the link below to locate your polling location.

Am I registered to vote?

If you are not sure if you are registered to vote, you can call our office at 607-664-2260 and we will be happy to check for you. Or you can click on the link below to check your registration.
View Your Voter Status 

 

Can I change my party?

Yes, you can change your party (assuming you are already registered).

Fill out a new voter registration form and select the party of your choice and send it to the Board of Elections.

The party change will not take effect until after the next scheduled General Election (which happens in November). The registration form with the party change must be received by the Board of Election 25 days before the General Election.

This is a NY State law, designed to protect candidates from unscrupulous voters who will switch parties just so they can put a particular candidate on the primary ballot, then switch back to their preferred party for the General Election. NY State law only allows party changes to be done once a year, 7 days after the General Election.

 

Is it important to know my voting district?

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It is not required that you know your voting district but it is helpful. Some poll sites have multiple districts voting in the same poll site. If you know which district you vote in it will speed things up. If you do not know your voting district the election inspectors will look up your information.  Please click the link below to locate your voting district and polling location.

Poll Site Locator

 

I will be out of town on Election Day. What should I do? How can I vote?

You can vote by absentee ballot if any of the following apply:
-You will be out of Steuben County on Election Day
-You are away at college on Election Day
-You are out of Steuben County for work on Election Day
-You are physically disabled
-You are a care giver for someone who is physically disabled

You need to complete an absentee application and mail it to the Steuben County Board of Elections. Once we receive your application and verify the information, we will mail you a ballot for the election you are qualified to vote in.

Click the link below for an Absentee Application
Absentee Ballot Application 

 

I voted by absentee ballot, but my plans changed and I am now in town for the election. Can I vote at my poll site?

Yes, the office scans in the voter history of every person that voted at the poll site on Election Day. When that is complete we run a report to check if we have any absentee ballots for anyone that voted at the poll site. If we find that someone voted at the poll site on Election Day and submitted an absentee ballot we pull the absentee ballot, mark the unopened envelope “Voted at the polls” and place the envelope containing the absentee ballot with our secure documents and it is never opened.

 

I go south for the winter.  How can I vote?

If you are lucky enough to go south for the winter and you leave before Election Day, you can
either mail us a completed absentee ballot application, or you can stop into the office and
complete one. As soon as the ballots are available we send one to you in the mail.

Note: 
Absentee ballots are normally available in the office 25 days before the election.  You can call the office to see if the ballots are available and if they are you can come into the office complete the application and vote your ballot all at the same time (if you are registered).

It is also very helpful if you list the date you will be leaving and the address where you will be receiving mail on your application if you leave before the ballots are available. This allows the staff to mail your ballot to you at the correct address. The post office will not forward any election material.

 

I changed my party, why am I still listed as…….

Party changes only take effect once a year, 7 days after the General Election.

All Party changes received after the cutoff date to register for the General Election (which is 25 days before the election) are applied 7 days after the General Election in November. 

Example: You mailed a Voter Registration form with a party change to the Board of Elections and it was received on May 19, 2018. The party change will take effect on November 14, 2018. 

When the party change has been completed you will also receive a new card in the mail listing your new party affiliation.

 

My mother moved out of the county. Can you take her off the list?

Please send us a note explaining the situation. List her name, date of birth, and the address she was registered at. Make sure you sign your name and write down your relationship (she’s my mother, etc.) and we will make the change. If she moves back she will need to re-register again. 
Your mother will want to register with the new county she now lives in.

I moved. Can I tell you my new address over the phone?

Unfortunately, NY State law requires us to have an original signature (in ink) to make any registration changes. The easiest way to change any information is to fill out a new Voter Registration Form and send it to the Board of Election. Once we receive the voter registration form we will update your information.

Please click the link below to print out a new voter registration form.
Voter Registration Form

 

I’m disabled. Where can I vote?

All poll sites are now handicap accessible. If you are unable to make it to a poll site, you may vote by absentee ballot. If you have a long-term or permanent illness or disability, you can apply for a permanent absentee ballot. 

Please click the link below to print out an absentee ballot application.
Absentee Ballot Application 

 

I was convicted of a felony. Can I vote?

Yes if you …
-Are on Probation

-Were not sentenced to prison or had your prison sentence suspended
-Served your maximum prison sentence
-Were discharged from parole
-Were pardoned
No if you…
-Are currently incarcerated
-Are under parole supervision
If the answer is yes you will need to re-register in the county you are living in. 

Please click the link below to print out a new voter registration form.
Voter Registration Form

 

I moved to Steuben County. Does my voter registration follow me?

No, anytime you move you need to complete a new voter registration form and send it to the Board of Elections in the county you now live in.

Do I need to let the post office know I moved?

Yes, anytime you move you need to let the post office know that you have moved and what your new address is.

When I vote in the General Election do I have to vote for the party I am registered as?

No, the ballot you receive at the General Election includes all candidates running for office in your voting district. You can vote for the candidate(s) of your choice.

 

Why does my son or daughter’s name still appear in the poll book?

Many parents continue to receive mail addressed to their children even though they no longer live there.  If we are not notified in writing or receive return mail from the post office letting us know that someone has moved, we cannot remove them from our records.

Every year we mail out yellow postcards to every active registered voter in Steuben County to verify that you still live at the address we have you registered at.  If we do not receive the yellow card back letting us know that the voter has moved we cannot update their record.

Why does my deceased neighbor’s name still appear in the poll book?

If we cannot find an obituary or receive written notice that someone is deceased we cannot remove them from our records. If you have proof that someone is deceased, like an obituary, or a death certificate, please provide us with a copy. Once we verify that someone is deceased we will remove them our records.  

 

Do I need to show ID when I vote?

Yes, if this is the first time you are voting in Steuben County or you did not provide identification when you register to vote.  

After the first time you vote in Steuben County NYS law does not require voter id to vote. If an inspector has a question about your information, they do have the right to ask for id to verify that you are who you say you are.

It is helpful to the inspectors if you show id. It makes it easier for them to find your name in the poll book.  You can also take the yellow card you received in the mail in August with you to the poll site to help the inspectors locate your voting district and your name.

 

Why do I receive this yellow card in the mail every August?
NYS law requires that we send out address verification cards to every active voter in our county. If you no longer live at the address we have you registered at, the post office will return the card to us with either an updated address or no forwarding address on file. If the post office gives us a new address we will update our records and send you another notice. If we do not have a good address for you, or we cannot verify your address, your registration record will be made inactive and your name will not appear in the poll book.
Information you will find on the yellow card:
-The name & address we have you registered at
-Your mailing address if different from your residence address
-The party you are enrolled in
-The poll site where you vote 
-The district/ward you vote in
-The date(s) of the election(s)
-The hours poll sites are open for voting

 

Why did I have to vote by affidavit when I went to vote?

-We do not have a valid address for you
-The inspectors could not find your name in the poll book

-You are not a registered voter in Steuben County
-You voted at a party primary that you are not a registered member of

 

How do I vote if I go away to college?

If you go to college outside Steuben County then you can apply for an absentee ballot. Complete an absentee application. List the address that is still your legal residence (parent’s house) and the address where you receive mail at college. When the ballots are available we will mail one out to you for you to vote and return to our office. 

Colleges quite often do voter registration drives to get you to register from your address at college. If you complete a new registration form and list the address where you are living while at college as your residence, you will be registered to vote from that county/state and not Steuben County. Click on the link below to print out an absentee application.
Absentee Ballot Application 

 

How do I vote if I am in the Military?

Persons serving in the military, along with their spouses and/or dependents, may register as a military voter in New York, entitling them to receive an absentee ballot for all federal, state and local races that they would be otherwise entitled to vote in if they were to go to their assigned polling place based on their New York residence. 

You will need to complete a federal post card application and return it to your County Board of Election. This application will register you (if you are not already registered) and will serve as your absentee ballot application for 2 federal general elections (4 years). You must reapply every 4 years. Click on the link below for more information and to print out your Federal Post Card Application.
Federal Post Card Application

 

How do I vote if I am living overseas?

United States citizens living outside of the United States, whose last U.S. residence was in New York, along with their children, may register as a special federal voter in New York, entitling them to receive an absentee ballot for all federal races (President/Vice President, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives) that they would be otherwise entitled to vote in based on your New York address. 
To register as a new special federal voter and/or to request an absentee ballot, you must complete a Federal Post Card Application and return it to the County Board of Elections of your last New York State residence.

This application will register you (if not already registered) and will also serve as your absentee ballot application for 2 federal general election cycles (4 years). You must reapply every 4 years. Click on the link below for more information and to print out your Federal Post Card Application.
Federal Post Card Application

 

Does Steuben County’s Board of Election run village elections?

No, all village elections are run by the village in Steuben County.

Does Steuben County’s Board of Election run school elections?

No, all school elections are run by the school districts. Even though some schools use our voting machines they still run their own elections.

Do absentee ballots get counted?

Yes, All absentee ballots are counted after every elections. We can still receive absentee ballots up to 7 days after the election as long as they are postmarked before the day of the election. After the 7 day deadline we open and count all absentee ballots along with valid affidavits and any un-scanned emergency ballots.

 

Why are the results unofficial on election night?

We receive and post the results from the voting machine only on election night. They are unofficial until we can count the absentee ballots, valid affidavit ballots, un-scanned emergency ballots, and any write-ins. Once we have the totals for all votes we will post the official election results.   

Where can I find election night results?

Election night results are posted on our webpage and the county’s main web page.

Where can I find past election results?

Past election results are posted on our web page. Click on the Election Results tab on the left hand side of our page. Currently on our web page you can find election results back to 2000.

 

What do I do if I want to run for an office?

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The Board highly recommends that you to come into the office and speak with the staff.  Depending on your legal residence and party affiliation (or no party affiliation) will determine the steps you must follow to run for an office. The office staff is here to help you with all of the information, to assure you understand the process. It is important that you get the correct information in regards to running for an office.

Do I have to file Campaign Finance paperwork if I run for an office?

Yes, NYS law requires that every person who runs for an office must file campaign finance paperwork. The staff at the Board of Election’s office can help you determine what forms need to be filed and where they need to be filed. 

This also applies to village offices. If you run for a village office you must file campaign finance paperwork with your village clerk.

 

How do I register for an absentee ballot to vote in my village election?

Contact your village clerk, they will be happy to give you an application for an absentee ballot.

How do I register for an absentee ballot to vote in my school election?

Contact the district clerk at your school, they will be happy to give you an application for an absentee ballot.

 

 
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