5 Things: It’s Time to Vote

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, President of Put Another Way.

With the elections just around the corner, and campaign signs donning every lawn you pass, it is time to think about voting. What does it mean to vote?

Voting is “The action or process of indicating choice, opinion, or will on a question, such as the choosing of a candidate, by or as if by some recognized means, such as a ballot.” (collinsdictionary.com)

It is surprising how many people do not know the facts about how and where to vote. Here are five (5) fun facts and thoughts about voting.

I want to vote; how do I find out where to vote?

The U.S. government has a site and page dedicated to voter information. Visit https://www.usa.gov/election-day to find out more.

How do I register to vote in New York State?

The rules vary from state to state and are run by the states themselves. Some can vary by county or town within a state. Ironically, no two states are the same. In New York, you can register online at https://www.ny.gov/services/register-vote .

Where do I go to get an absentee ballot in New York State?

The New York State Board of Elections has a web-page to address absentee ballots: https://www.elections.ny.gov/votingabsentee.html . Please use this link to complete the application for a New York Absentee ballot.

Will the polling centers be accessible if I am handicapped, hearing impaired, or blind?

New York State’s Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs offers a list of resources available for special needs and disabilities. Visit https://www.justicecenter.ny.gov/disability-resource-clearinghouse-topics/voting for more information.

5. Is voting a right, a responsibility, or a privilege?

You decide. Many articles have been written this subject and indeed the answer lies within each American. The right to vote is inherent but not specified in the Constitution. The 15th Amendment stated, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” But it was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the majority of African Americans in the South were registered to vote.

The 19th Amendment reads, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

The birthplace of the women’s rights movement in the United States was held July 19–20, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York. The principal organizers of the Seneca Falls Convention were Elizabeth Cady Stanton and abolitionist Lucretia Mott. These women fought for the right for women to vote. Please vote this election and use the links provided if you need help. Become active in groups, associations, and campaigns to make a change. Find your passion!

The Women’s Business Council provides many avenues to be active in your community. For more information on joining the WBC and/or a WBC Committee, please contact Marna Redding, Vice President of Member Services at the Capital Region Chamber, at mredding@capitalregionchamber.com or reach out to us via the blog or Facebook.

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