Voters to take to the polls on Tuesday

Voters to take to the polls on TuesdayIn Tioga County, N.Y., 18 different polling sites will be open on Tuesday, Nov. 4, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. to offer voters a chance to decide who will serve them in the political offices that represent them.

According to Bernadette M. Toombs, Republican Commissioner who is employed by Tioga County’s Board of Elections (BOE), voters need to “… participate in the process, stay informed about incumbents and those running for elected positions, and encourage both young and old to let their voices be heard by exercising their right to vote.”

In order to accommodate “all” in the election process, the Board of Elections has extended their hours for absentee ballots to include Saturday, Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to noon at their office located at 56 Main St. in Owego, N.Y.

Toombs also stated that those with health conditions or emergencies that might prevent them from meeting the cutoff can deliver their absentee ballots to the BOE office on Monday, Nov. 3 between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the same location.

In Tioga County, N.Y., there are currently 28,820 registered voters; and of those, 26 percent are registered democrats, with 45 percent registered with the republican party. Other parties, such as the green party, conservative party, etc., carry lower percentages.

Vying for your vote in this General Election, statewide for Governor / Lt. Governor (4-year term) will be incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and Kathy Hochul (D,I) for Lt. Governor; contender Rob Astorino (R) for Governor and Chris Moss (GRE) for Lt. Governor; Howie Hawkins (GRE) for Governor and Brian Jones (GRE) for Lt. Governor; Steven Cohn (SAP) for Governor and Bobby Kalotee (SAP) for Lt. Governor; and Michael McDermott (LBT) for Governor and Chris Edes (LBT) for Lt. Governor.

For Comptroller, incumbent Thomas DiNapoli (D,I) will be challenged by Robert Antonacci (R,C), Theresa Portelli (GRE), and John Clifton (LBT) for this 4-year term.

Incumbent Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman (D, I) will be challenged for this 4-year term by John Cahill (R, C), Ramon Jimenez (GRE), and Carl Person (LBT).

For the 14-year term of Supreme Court Justice, Ithaca resident Robert C. Mulvey (R), incumbent, is uncontested on the ballot.

In the 22nd Congressional District, Incumbent Richard Hanna (R, I) is running uncontested for another 2-year term; and in the 23rd District, Martha Robertson (D) will be running against Incumbent Thomas Reed (R,C,I) of Corning for the 2-year term.

Running for the 52nd District, 2-year term State Senate seat is incumbent Thomas Libous (R,C,I) and contender Anndrea Strazak (D) of Vestal.

In the 124th Assembly District, Incumbent Christopher Friend (R,C,I) of Horseheads, N.Y. is running uncontested for another 2-year term as is the 4-year seat for County Coroner in which Warren S. Stu Bennett (R) is running uncontested for the 4-year term.

In the County Legislative race, Michael Roberts (R), who represents District 3, is running uncontested for the 3-year term; Dale Weston (R), representing District 6, is running uncontested for the 3-year term; and Eddie Hollenbeck (R) and William Standinger III (R), both representing District 7, are running for the 3-year term; voters can choose two for District 7.

In Newark Valley, N.Y., a vacant, 1-year expired Town Councilman position will rely on a write-in as no one registered for this seat, according to Toombs. If a write-in is selected, and does not want the seat, Toombs added, then the person winning the race would decline to take the Oath of Office and the Town could then appoint someone until Petitions are carried in the summer of 2015.

In Nichols, N.Y., Town Councilman Esther Woods (R), will run for an unexpired 1-year term as well as Charles Quick (R), who will be on the ballot for another 4-year term as Town Justice.

In Richford, Velvet Lyke (R) will run for a 1-year unexpired term as Town Clerk, and Peggy Andersen (D), will run for a 4-year term as Town Justice.

In Spencer, Ronald Koski Jr. (R) will be running for a 1-year unexpired term as Town Councilman.

There will also be three propositions on the ballot in this General Election.

Proposal number one, an amendment, if approved, would revise the State’s redistricting procedure.

The proposed amendment to sections 4 and 5 and addition of new section 5-b to Article 3 of the State Constitution revises the redistricting procedure for state legislative and congressional districts. The proposed amendment establishes a redistricting commission every 10 years beginning in 2020, with two members appointed by each of the four legislative leaders and two members selected by the eight legislative appointees; prohibits legislators and other elected officials from serving as commissioners; establishes principles to be used in creating districts; requires the commission to hold public hearings on proposed redistricting plans; subjects the commission’s redistricting plan to legislative enactment; provides that the legislature may only amend the redistricting plan according to the established principles if the commission’s plan is rejected twice by the legislature; provides for expedited court review of a challenged redistricting plan; and provides for funding and bipartisan staff to work for the commission.

Proposal number two, an amendment, if approved would permit electronic distribution of state legislative bills.

The proposed amendment to section 14 of Article 3 of the State Constitution would allow electronic distribution of a state legislative bill to satisfy the constitutional requirement that a bill be printed and on the desks of state legislators at least three days before the Legislature votes on it. It would establish the following requirements for electronic distribution: first, legislators must be able to review the electronically-sent bill at their desks; second, legislators must be able to print the bill if they choose; and third, the bill cannot be changed electronically without leaving a record of changes.

Proposal number three is a proposition – the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014.

The Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014, as set forth in section one of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2014, authorizes the sale of state bonds of up to two billion dollars ($2,000,000,000) to provide access to classroom technology and high-speed internet connectivity to equalize opportunities for children to learn, to add classroom space to expand high-quality pre-kindergarten programs, to replace classroom trailers with permanent instructional space, and to install high-tech smart security features in schools.

Copies of the propositions on the ballot can be obtained at the Board of Elections, Ronald E. Dougherty County Office Building, 56 Main St., Owego, N.Y. or on the BOE website at

Toombs noted that it is also important for any registered voter that has moved within Tioga County to call the Board of Elections at (607) 687-8218 to determine the correct polling site they need go to and vote by Affidavit Ballot. The staff at the office can give the most up to date accurate district information.

Toombs also reminded voters that, “ Your vote is your voice, apply for an Absentee Ballot, obtain it, fill it out and return it before the deadline of November 3 if you need one, or just go to your polling site and vote.” She also added, “It takes only one vote to win, so your vote can make a difference.”

To find out more, or to locate your polling site, call the BOE office at (607) 687-8218 or visit

Click here for a listing of polling locations.