Deadline this Friday to register to vote in November general election

October 6, 2014 by Rachel Cera

With election day just under a month away, we'd like to remind Ithaca and Tompkins County residents that the deadline for voter registration in New York State is this Friday, October 10th. Anyone who registers by that date may vote in the November 4th general election.

The Tompkins County Board of Elections web site offers links to the New York State voter registration form and military or federal voter registration form, as well as details on obtaining an absentee ballot for voters who will be unable to vote in person on election day. Voters may apply for an absentee ballot in person until 5pm the day before the election, or by mail with a postmark at least seven days before election day.

This fall's general election will feature statewide elections for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, and Attorney General, as well as a contentious race for New York's 23rd Congressional District seat in the House of Representatives. Local races include State Senate and Assembly seats, and City of Ithaca Court Judge.

Andrew Cuomo faces Republican Rob Astorino, Sapient Party candidate Steven Cohn, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins in the race for New York State Governor. Incumbent Cuomo beat an unexpectedly strong primary challenger last month for the Democratic nomination. 

In the 23rd Congressional District, which includes a wide swath of the Southern Tier and Western New York as well as Ithaca, longtime Tompkins County legislator Martha Robertson is challenging incumbent Tom Reed for a seat that Reed barely won last time around. In 2012, the heavily favored Republican, from Corning, edged Ithacan Nate Shinagawa by a margin of just 51.9 to 48.1%. At the time, observers concluded that if the Democratic Party had put some effort into the race, which they'd considered a long shot, Shinagawa could have won.

In the City of Ithaca, voters will also be selecting a City Court Judge. Rick Wallace, who won the Democratic primary last month, will face Seth Peacock, who won the Working Families Party nomination despite losing to Wallace for the Democratic nod. Seth Peacock, named as interim judge by Mayor Svante Myrick to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Judge Judith Rossiter in July, came under fire this summer with the release of letters and court records showing that, as an attorney in the court-appointed attorney program, he had been barred from certain judges' courtrooms for failure to appear or for being unprepared. A widely circulated letter of support from Judge Rossiter expresses the retired jurist's confidence in her interim successor, and suggests that attorneys involved in speaking against him are among those who failed to appear in her own courtroom during her tenure on the bench.

For our readers in Pennsylvania, the voter registration deadline is today, October 6th.

New York State law requires employers to give voters up to two hours off if their work schedule would otherwise prevent them from exercising their right to vote. Check the Tompkins County Board of Elections web site if you're not sure where your polling place is. 

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