How To Be An Informed Voter and Mobilized New Yorker
By: Olivia Frasca
Tuesday, November 5th, was Election Day. Voters headed to the polls to cast their ballots and make their voices heard.
This year, municipal elections were held. These were elections for public offices on the local level.
Staten Islanders casted their vote for public advocate, district attorney, judge of the Civil Court for Richmond County, judge of the Civil 1st Municipal Court District, and justice of the Supreme Court 13th Judicial District.
The ballot also included five proposals that New Yorkers voted yes or no on. The questions covered a variety of topics including elections, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, ethics, local budget, and land use.
18 is the legal age to vote. If you are not already registered, now is the time. In less than one year, the country will vote for their future president and members of Congress.
“The City University of New York makes voter registration forms available to all CUNY students when they register for classes and through voter registration events. Also, the NYS voter registration form is available through your CUNYfirst account. It’s a personalized form that you can mail in yourself,” according to CUNY.
You must register at least 25 days before an election to vote in it. To find out your polling site and view a sample ballot, type your address in the vote.nyc site.
Before the general election, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to vote in a primary. The New York State Democratic primary is set for April 28th, 2020.
In a primary, voters choose a candidate to represent their party in the general election. In order to vote in a primary, you must register for a political party before a general election.
“Thus, if you switch party affiliation before the 2019 general election, you may vote in your new party’s primary in 2020. However, if you switch after the 2019 general election, you cannot vote in your new party’s primary until 2021,” according to CUNY’s How-To Guide for voting.
To join a political party, or change your address and any other information, you’ll need to submit the voter registration form. All forms should be mailed to your county’s Board of Elections office.
Visit the New York State Board of Elections site for more information about completing an absentee ballot or attending an early voting site if you will not be at your polling site on Election Day.
If you would like to become a poll worker and live in the five boroughs, visit the vote.nyc website.
There, you can submit an application online or print one out to be mailed to your county’s Board of Elections office.
As a poll worker, you are responsible for preparing, opening, and closing your poll site. You can also check-in voters, assist with their concerns, and monitor the scanners.
City poll workers earn $200/day and are compensated for their training depending on their position. The job is rewarding and allows you to protect the right to vote.
Another rewarding job is getting involved in the census next year. Every ten years, thousands of people assist in counting the U.S. population.
Visit 2020census.gov to apply to work for the census. The federal government offers competitive pay and reimbursement for mileage.
CUNY is also encouraging students to apply to their Census Corps. For five to seven weeks, members will mobilize their community to complete the census. Students will earn $15/hour for working 12 hours/week.
According to CUNY, responses for the census are protected by federal law and cannot be used against any individual by the government.
An accurate census count will not only allow for fair congressional redistricting, but also fair funding for public programs, including CUNY.
2020 is the year for you to choose your future leadership and make sure you are accounted for.