Voting league seeks to educate on early voting

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The Nassau County Board of Elections building in Mineola, which is the only early voting site located in the Town of North Hempstead. (Photo courtesy of Google Street View)

Registered voters in Nassau County have a new resource for information on November’s elections, courtesy of the League of Women Voters of Nassau County.

The league has rolled out a website, www.nyearlyvoting.org, as a source for early voting in New York State. The website describes locations for early voting and answers frequently asked questions.

Nassau County will have 15 sites for early voting from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3.  The general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

The Town of North Hempstead will not have an early voting site. The closest site is the Nassau County Board of Elections on Old Country Road in Mineola, which falls just outside the town.

The early voting sites were determined by the commissioners of the Board of Elections, said Nancy Rosenthal, president of the league.

“My guess is that they choose the areas that will be favorable to getting what they believe to be the most turnout, or the least turnout of the opposing political party,” Rosenthal said.

The Board of Elections is headed by Commissioner Louis G. Savinetti, a Republican, and acting Commissioner James P. Scheuerman, a Democrat. Bonnie Garone, counsel to the Democratic commissioner, said that a “complicated process” determined the locations.

“We were primarily looking for areas that had lower turnout rates than others, since the point of early voting is to make voting more accessible,” Garone said. “We also tried to take into account transportation availability and ease of access, in terms of driving or public transportation, and then we had to find places that would have us.”

Garone added that the locations needed to have accessibility accommodations, a “suitably sized room” for voting booths and good cellphone connectivity.

“All of those things taken into account, that’s how we put together the list of places,” Garone said.

Founded by women’s suffragists Emma Smith DeVoe and Carrie Chapman Catt in 1920, the League of Women Voters described itself in a news release as “a nonpartisan political membership organization open to men and women that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.”

The league’s Nassau chapter is one of 790 chapters in the United States, Hong Kong and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In addition to information on early voting, the League of Women Voters of Nassau County  provides materials on voter registration, absentee ballots and the effects of redistricting.

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