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Press Releases

(01/25/2024)

Election Countdown: Deadline for Party Changes in Chautauqua County

MAYVILLE, NY – In preparation for this year’s elections, the Chautauqua County Board of Elections is reminding voters of the crucial deadline for changing political party enrollments.

The last day to submit changes is Wednesday, February 14, 2024, for those intending to participate in both the Tuesday, April 2, 2024 Presidential Primary Election and the Tuesday, June 25, 2024 Federal, State & Local Primary Election.

“As the Board of Elections prepares for petitioning and the Primary period, Election Law states that we cannot allow individuals from changing their party affiliation between February 15 and seven days following the Primary (July 5 this year),” states Commissioner Brian C. Abram.

Voter Registration forms MUST BE PHYSICALLY AT THE OFFICE by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Changes submitted through the NYS DMV must be made by TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, in order for the DMV to transmit the data to the Board of Elections timely.

“Election Law makes it clear that if we do not physically have possession of your enrollment change by February 14, your change will not take effect until after the June Primary. Without the party change form, individuals wishing to cast a ballot in this year’s Primaries may be unable to do so,” adds Commissioner Luz E. Torres. “You must be registered and affiliated with the political party who’s Primary you wish to vote in.”

The Board of Elections is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Additionally, on Wednesday, February 14 the Board of Elections will remain open until 5 p.m. to meet statutory requirements for the last day to receive political party changes.

Voters wishing to change their political party need to complete a new Voter Registration Form, designating their new political party choice. Forms can be submitted in-person or via proxy at the front counter during all office hours at 7 N. Erie St. Mayville, NY 14757.

Voter Registration Forms are available online at votechautauqua.com and at any local municipal office, library, post office or at the Board of Elections. Online options include the New York State Online Voter Registration portal or the Department of Motor Vehicles MotorVoter portal.

Links to both websites are available at www.votechautauqua.com.

 

(11/01/2023)

Chautauqua County Voting 101

Nov. 7th General Election Day Hours to Vote: Polls will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. All county poll sites will be open. Poll Site changes this year include the reallocation of all voters who voted at the FSUC Technology Incubator in Dunkirk to the Clarion Hotel on Lakeshore Drive E. and voters who used to vote at the National Comedy Center will now vote at the DoubleTree Hotel on the corner of 4th St & Washington St in Jamestown.  For a list of poll sites, visit www.votechautauqua.com

Redistricting will affect voters: Due to the changes in County Legislative lines and Ward lines in the City of Jamestown, Election Districts have been updated to reflect the new lines throughout the County. Voters, may encounter different setups than they are used to and may need to visit different tables than they are used to if their Election District changed. Voters should consult their 2023 yellow voter information card or the Board of Elections website, www.votechautauqua.com to determine their poll site and election district.

Eligibility to Vote: Any New York State citizen at least age 18 at the date of the General Election who previously registered is eligible to vote.

How to determine where to vote on Election Day, Status of Absentee Ballot and Voter Eligibility Status? Visit www.votechautauqua.com and click on “Check Status of Absentee, Voter Registration & Look Where You Vote” to access the voter’s current information, or call the Board of Elections at 716-753-4580.

How to see a sample of the ballot? Visit www.votechautauqua.com and click on “Sample Ballots” to view the Election Day ballot.

Moved? If a voter registered previously anywhere in New York State and is in current active or inactive voter registration status anywhere in New York State and failed to notify the Board of Elections, the voter may go to his or her new polling place on Election Day Nov. 7th or any county early voting site before the election, fill out a provisional affidavit ballot and once the voter is proven to be eligible, that ballot will be counted following the Election.

Voting Technology: Early voters and Election Day voters will sign in to vote on an electronic poll book tablet. The signature provided will be compared to the electronic voter registration signature on file. Voters will be asked by the Election Inspector on duty to sign again if the signature fails to match. Once the signature is accepted, a ballot will be issued to the voter.

How Does a Voter Determine a Cast Absentee Ballot Was Properly Completed or Received? The Board of Elections will notify any voter if an error occurred that might prevent the counting of the absentee ballot.  A “cure” letter is sent to every voter providing the opportunity to rectify any error.  (Or the voter may be notified by email or phone.)  Common reasons for a voter to have his or her ballot not counted include not sealing the absentee ballot envelope, failing to the sign the oath on the absentee ballot envelope, or family members signing the other voter’s envelope.

What if I already have an Absentee Ballot, Can I still vote? When you request an Absentee Ballot, you are now unable to vote on an Early Voting or Election Day voting machine, regardless if you returned the ballot that was issued or not. You are able to vote via a Provisional Affidavit Ballot, which will be reviewed following Election Day. If the Absentee Ballot was not returned, we will open the Affidavit Ballot and add it to the Election Night totals. A post card will be sent to the voter with the Board’s determination whether the ballot can be counted or not.

Where to see election results? www.votechautauqua.com will have live county election night results starting at 9 p.m. Absentee & Early Voting totals will be posted on the county website at 9 p.m. and Election Day results will be added as available after polls close.  Absentee ballots received after 3PM on Friday, November 3 and Affidavit Ballots will be counted and added to Election Day totals. Absentee Ballots have 7 days to be returned (as long as they are postmarked by Election Day) in order to be counted.  Additionally, valid federal overseas and military ballots have until thirteen days after the election to be received and counted.

 

(10/25/2023)

Commissioners Announce Early Voting for the 2023 General Election

MAYVILLE, NY – Early voting will soon begin in Chautauqua County.

On Wednesday, Commissioners Luz E. Torres and Brian C. Abram of the Chautauqua County Board of Elections announced Early Voting dates, times and locations for the November 7, 2023 General Election.

 “Chautauqua County will open four poll sites for Early Voting,” stated Commissioner Torres & Abram.

Early voting sites will be set up at the following locations:

  • The Chautauqua County Fairgrounds Early Voting site is at the 4-H Bldg./Ag & Expo Center, 1089 Central Ave. Dunkirk, NY 14048.
  • The Chautauqua Mall Early Voting site is through the Main Entrance, 318 E Fairmount Ave. Lakewood, NY 14750.
  • The Robert H. Jackson Center, 305 E 4th St. Jamestown, NY 14701, voters should enter through the main doors off of Prendergast Ave.
  • The Board of Elections Office is located in the Hall R. Clothier Bldg. at the County Complex in Mayville, 7 N Erie St. Mayville, NY 14757.

Each location will have signage that indicates the entrances to the poll site. All registered voters in Chautauqua County are able to visit any one of these four early voting poll sites to cast their ballot early.

 All four sites will be open for the same hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday and Tuesday 12 PM to 8 PM and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10 AM to 6 PM.

The dates this year are Saturday, October 28 to Sunday, November 5. Early Voting runs for 9 days, beginning 10 days before the General Election. Early voting is not available on Monday, November 6.

 “We are very proud of the locations we have found and the partnerships we have built, we look forward to continuing to serve the voters and providing them the best voting experience,” noted Commissioner Abram. 

All Early Voting sites are handicap accessible and do provide a Ballot Marking Device for voters with disabilities.

 Voters who cast their ballot early will not be able to cast a ballot during subsequent Early Voting days or on Election Day. If you request an Absentee Ballot, recent law changes will prevent you from casting your ballot using the voting machine during Early Voting or on Election Day, you will only be able to vote a Provisional Affidavit Ballot, which can be counted if you have not already returned your Absentee Ballot.

 The Board of Elections website, votechautauqua.com has Sample Ballots available for any voter to view their ballot before they head to a poll site. Sample Ballots will also be available at each Early Voting site.

 

(10/20/2023)

Board of Election Commissioners Remind Residents of Upcoming Voter Registration Deadline

MAYVILLE, N.Y. – Chautauqua County’s Board of Election Commissioners are reminding residents of the upcoming voter registration deadline for the 2023 General Election.

Commissioners Luz E. Torres and Brian C. Abram issued the reminder on Friday, noting that the last day to register for the November 7, 2023 General Election is Saturday, October 28.

 “This year’s contests feature County Legislators as well as local City, Town and Village Races,” said Commissioner Abram.

 “There’s also two Statewide propositions and three Towns have propositions, asking questions of their respective voters,” added Commissioner Torres.

 Voters can register using a paper Voter Registration Form, via the NYS DMV Online MotorVoter Portal or using the newly launches NYS Online Voter Registration application.

Paper forms can be obtained by visiting local municipalities, libraries or post offices or the Board of Elections can also mail a paper Voter Registration form to an individual, though they would be cautious of this option due to the form must to be at the Board of Elections by the 28th.

Voters can also register in person at the Chautauqua County Board of Elections, 7 N. Erie St in Mayville during regular weekday business hours, 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

More information is available online at VoteChautauqua.com or by calling the Chautauqua County Board of Elections at (716) 753-4580.

 

(09/14/2023)

Chautauqua County Board of Elections in need of Poll Workers

MAYVILLE, NY – The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is need of poll workers for the upcoming November 7, 2023 General Election.

Poll workers, which consist of our friends and neighbors, play a critical role in our democracy and having an adequate number of staff at the poll site on Election Day ensures voters receive the assistance they need.

As a poll worker, you would prepare the polling site for voting, help setup the voting equipment, sign-in and process voters, demonstrate voting procedures and help close the polling place.

Anyone registered in the two major parties can sign-up to be a poll worker. Poll workers are paid $25.00 for their training and $14.20 an hour while working the polls.

“We have added additional Poll Site training dates for the people who missed the opportunity to attend a session earlier this summer. Hopefully, anyone who wants to help us provide voting services to our County residents will take this opportunity to be trained,” stated Commissioners Luz Torres and Brian Abram.

The first training is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023 at the SUNY JCC North Training Center on Route 60 in Dunkirk from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

A second, additional training, will be held at the Carnahan Theatre on the SUNY JCC Main Campus, 525 Falconer St. in Jamestown on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The final training happens on Friday, Sept. 22 at the Carlson Community Center, 50 West Lake Rd. in Mayville from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Each trainee is asked to bring their Driver’s License, or another legal form of identification, Social Security Card and voided check so the Board of Elections can issue a direct deposit payment.

No reservations are needed for any session, so please pick a date and time that fits your schedule.

Those with questions are urged to please contact the Chautauqua County Board of Elections Office at (716) 753-4580 and/or visit chqgov.com/board-of-elections/Board-of-Elections.

 

(08/31/2023)

Board of Elections Warns Of Door-to-Door Scam 

MAYVILLE, NY – The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is warning residents about a new door-to-door scam where fraudsters are impersonating Board of Elections staff.

Statewide this week, the New York State Board of Elections received complaints that fake staff members were found knocking on doors, confronting voters regarding their registration status, and erroneously accusing voters of committing a crime because of how they appear in the state voter database.

This is alarming to election officials across the state, including in Chautauqua County, and appears to be a coordinated, consistent pattern of activity.

In a joint statement, Commissioners Luz Torres and Brian Abram stated, “we have been notified that this is happening in our county, you can rest assured, the Chautauqua County Board of Elections employees would never come to your home and challenge your voting rights.” 

If you are approached by a person claiming to be Board of Elections staff, immediately ask to see their identification. If that person refuses, or is otherwise suspicious, the Board of Elections is asking voters to collect as much information as possible without providing any of your personal information. Once the person leaves, contact the local law enforcement.

Criminal impersonation is a class A misdemeanor in New York State. Elections officials are working closely to track and monitor any additional complaints that are received.

 

(06/14/2023)

Early Voting For The June Primary Election Begins Saturday

MAYVILLE, NY – The Chautauqua County Board of Elections is reminding voters who have a Primary Election in 2023 that Early Voting begins on Saturday, June 17.

“We have a small set of Primaries this year,” notes Commissioner Brian C. Abram. “There are no Countywide Primary Elections in 2023, most voters will NOT have a Primary Election this year.”

Voters with the following Political Party affiliations in the respective towns will have a Primary Election in 2023: Republicans in Arkwright, the Town of Dunkirk, Mina, North Harmony & Ripley; Conservatives in Ripley and Working Families in the City of Dunkirk. Any other town not listed or voters not affiliated with the above political parties in each town will not have a Primary Election to vote in.

“In order to vote in a Primary in New York State, voters must be registered in the Political Party having a Primary,” Commissioner Luz E. Torres stated, highlighting that New York State has a Closed Primary System. “Voters who changed their political party on or after February 15, 2023 will have their party choice put into a pending status and will be  changed on July 5, when the ability to changes one’s political party affiliation resumes. Voters who did not submit their change of enrollment by February 14, 2023 to a party holding a Primary will not be eligible to vote in this year’s Primary Elections.”

“Everyone votes in November regardless of their political party affiliation,” Commissioner Abram added.

Early Voting for the June 27, 2023 Primary Election will be held at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds 4-H Bldg./Ag & Expo Center, located at 1089 Central Ave in the City of Dunkirk. Hours for Saturdays & Sundays will be 9AM to 5PM, Monday & Tuesday Noon to 8PM and Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10AM to 6PM. Early Voting will run daily from Saturday, June 17 to Sunday, June 25.

The other three early voting sites designated for the November 7, 2023 General Election WILL NOT be open during the June Early Voting period.

Poll Sites on Election Day, June 27, will be open from 6AM to 9PM. With the exception of the Working Families members in the City of Dunkirk, voters for the Primary Election should visit their normal poll site. All members of the Working Families parties in the City of Dunkirk will vote at St. John’s ICC, 728 Eagle St. in the City of Dunkirk FOR THIS PRIMARY ELECTION ONLY.

The Commissioners would like to jointly remind voters that even though they are hearing news regarding the 2024 Presidential Elections, the Elections (including this Primary) being held this year are NOT for the Office of President.