Today is the last day for New Yorkers to register to vote and groups are working hard to get people to register last-minute so they can vote in this year’s contentious races.
Dale Hoagland has lived in Hudson for two years, working for a landscaping company in the area and for Hudson-based Time & Space Ltd., but in her free time she has walked the streets of Hudson trying to help people register.
“This has been an effort to raise awareness of the deadline and get people registered in the last 10 days,” Hoagland said. “I’ve got seven people registered. That may not seem like a lot, but every person makes a difference.”
Today is also the last day for voters to change political party affiliations in time for the 2019 elections.
This is the first year Hoagland is taking time to help people register and is doing it in coordination with the membership activist organization Citizen Action of New York.
“The biggest obstacle people face is that they do not know what they need to register,” Hoagland said. “The details are the hardest part for people, such as where to register and what they need.”
Residents can register in person at their county boards of elections, or by mailing the registrations in to the boards. Residents can also register online through the state Department of Motor Vehicles website.
The Columbia County Board of Elections is located at 401 State St., Hudson, and the Greene County Board of Elections is located at 411 Main St., Catskill. Residents can mail registration forms in today as long as it is postmarked with today’s date and arrives at the boards of elections by Oct. 17.
To register in person or by mail residents have to provide a completed state voter registration form, which can be found at the local board of elections or on the DMV’s website.
The Greene County Democratic Committee also has registration forms at its new headquarters next to Dunkin’ Donuts in the Grandview Plaza on West Bridge St., Catskill.
“We have always had a robust effort to get new residents registered to vote,” Greene County Democratic Committee Chairwoman Doreen Davis said. “Other than presidential elections, these midterm elections are the second-most energetic elections.”
Registration this year is going well, Davis said. She was encouraged by the turnout in the Sept. 13 primaries.
The Greene County Republican Committee has also been pushing to get people to register to vote, said Greene County Republican Party Chairman Brent Bogardus, who is also the Republican board of elections commissioner.
“It is important for people to register to vote and vote regardless of what races are going on,” Bogardus said. “I see it as a civic duty. We want people to participate.”
Bogardus said the county saw 524 new registrations since Sept. 1.
Congressional candidates for the 19th district are also working to get people registered to vote.
“Our campaign is working closely with local groups all across the district and together we are helping register New York state voters before the Oct. 12 deadline,” said 19th Congressional District Democratic candidate Antonio Delgado campaign manager Allyson Marcus. “We’re also out every single day knocking on doors and making phone calls to voters in NY-19. We’re going to keep building on this engagement and enthusiasm to bring real, meaningful change to upstate New York.”
U.S. Rep. John Faso’s re-election campaign is also working on registering people, Faso spokesman Joe Gierut said.
“I encourage all local residents to register to vote and to come to the polls on Nov. 6,” Faso said. “Our campaign is working to hard to register new voters across the 19th district.”
Delgado stressed the importance of people exercising their right to vote.
“We can’t have meaningful change without voting,” Delgado said. “With this election, people in our district have a clear choice and can vote to bring about real change right here at home. And those who don’t want this change — the outside special interest groups and the powerful few — are counting on people not to vote. We can change all of this on Nov. 6 and bring back true representation to NY-19 — representation for the people and by the people.”