By Stephen DiFiore
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, voters will vote in the most important elections in a lifetime. Although that is typically said about every election, it certainly can feel much more real this time around due to the state of the country.
Between political figures being targeted by bomb threats, anti-Semitic shootings, and an uncertain immigration system, it can be easy for people to lose hope.
But everyday people still have their vote, and because young people are less likely to vote in elections, here you will find everything you need to know about voting on campus and beyond.
Students who live and are registered to vote at SUNY Purchase can vote in the Red Room in the Student Services Building on Election Day. In the past, the voting location was abruptly changed to the school gym, which is much farther out of the way for most students, but that should not happen again.
If you do not know whether or not you registered on campus, you can check here. The link will also tell you where your polling place is should you need to know. The county for SUNY Purchase is Westchester and the ZIP code is 10577.
If you are not registered on campus, do not worry! You can go home on Election Day because there will be no classes at SUNY Purchase that day. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. so there is a huge window for students to go home, vote, and return to campus before the polls close.
You should not need an ID to vote, but bring one just in case. There are very rare circumstances where a photo ID will be necessary (such as not having your social security number or DMV number at the time you registered). Your More Card should be enough, as it is an official state ID, but if you have a driver's licence or a non-driver ID, bring it too.
Be aware of a few common myths about voting. You might have heard some of these falsities from other voters and sometimes even poll workers.
First, you do NOT need to vote for every position. If you want to leave a position blank, that is entirely your decision.
Second, you do NOT need to vote down party lines. If you want to vote Democrat for one position and Republican for another, it is your right to do so.
If you are not on the list of approved voters, you do have the option of filling out an affidavit ballot. This should be a last resort. Time permitting, if you are not on the rolls, you should double check both with the link above, and by potentially calling the Board of Elections for your area, and you should do this if you encounter any problems at your polling place. The phone number for the Westchester County Board of Elections is (914) 995-5700 and it is located at 25 Quarropas Street in White Plains.
Additionally, NYPIRG, the student advocacy group on campus, can give your more advice on how to deal with problems at the polls. They are located in the lobby of Campus Center North.
Lastly, there is the New York Attorney General voting hotline, which can be reached by calling (800) 771-7755 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before Election Day, it also very important to know who is on the ballot. These are the candidates for Purchase. More info on the candidates is available here.
United States Senate
For The U.S. Senate, Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is running for her second term against Republican businesswoman Chele Farley. Gillibrand is cross-endorsed by the Working Families, Women’s Equality, and Independence parties. Farley is cross-endorsed by the Conservative and Reform parties.
Governor and Lieutenant Governor
For governor, two-term incumbent Andrew Cuomo is running for his third term ahead of what will likely be a 2020 presidential run. He is running alongside incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is the Republican nominee. If elected, Molinaro would be the first Republican to be elected governor of New York since George Pataki won a third term of his own in 2002. Molinaro is running alongside former Rye Council Member Julie Killian, a two-time candidate for the state senate district representing Purchase.
Other candidates for governor and lieutenant governor include Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee of the Green Party. Hawkins ran for governor in 2014 and garnered 5% of the vote, quite impressive for a third-party run.
On a non partisan line, former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is running with Pelham Mayor Michael Volpe. Miner is a Democrat and Volpe is a Republican.
Larry Sharpe and Andrew Hollister are running on the Libertarian Party line.
The candidates for Attorney General are Democrat Letitia James, Republican Keith Wofford, Green candidate Michael Sussman, Libertarian Christopher Garvey, and Reform candidate Nancy Sliwa. Sliwa is the wife of Reform Party Chair Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels, a group of anti-crime vigilantes.
For Comptroller, the candidates are incumbent Democrat Tom DiNapoli, Republican Jonathan Trichter, Green candidate Mark Dunlea, and Libertarian Cruger Gallaudet.
For U.S. Congress, the candidates are incumbent Democrat Nita Lowey and Reform candidate Joe Ciardullo, a recent layoff from IBM.
State Assembly Member
For State Assembly, incumbent Democrat David Buchwald is running against Republican challenger John Nuculovic.
State Supreme Court
There are 10 total candidates for State Supreme Court. Voters may choose up to seven.
Democrats: Kathie Davidson, David Everett, William Giacomo, Hal Greenwald, Joan Lefkowitz, Barry Warhit, and Thomas Zugibe.
Republicans: Kathie Davidson, Robert Freehill, Philip Grimaldi, and James Reiz.
Conservatives: Kathie Davidson, Robert Freehill, Philip Grimaldi, James Reiz, and Thomas Zugibe.
Independence candidates: Kathie Davidson, Robert Freehill, William Giacomo, Joan Lefkowitz, and Thomas Zugibe.