Board of Elections - FAQ’S


1.  How do I get an absentee ballot?    You must submit a signed application by mail or in person, to your county Board of Elections.  Depending on the situation, we will either mail a ballot to you or issue it to you right then.  Individuals who are permanently disabled, who are unable to get to the polls may apply for Permanent Absentee Status which means that a ballot will be sent each time they are eligible to vote, all General Elections, Primaries in their party, School & Library Elections.

2.  How do I change my political party enrollment?  To change party enrollment you must submit a new voter registration card with the new party marked.  We collect those changes all year until the mid October cut off before the General Election.  Immediately following the General Election, the requested changes are actually made and all the voters receive a new voter card showing their new party.  The change is only done once per year by law.

3.  What are the requirements/procedures to run for political office?  To run for political office in New York State you must be a resident, 18 years old and a US citizen.  In order to have your name appear on the ballot for an office you will have to pass petitions to collect a certain number of signatures.  Additional information can be found on this web site, see “Candidates”.

Designating Petitions are filed for candidates who wish to run in a specific political party.  These are circulated and filed in June and July each year.   Independent Petitions are for candidates who wish to appear on the ballot without the support of a specific organized political party.  Please review the information on this web site under “Candidates” for current information and the calendar of dates.  Please also review Campaign Finance then, Call the Board of Elections (315) 536-5135 for more specific information.

4.  What are the platforms/beliefs of the various political parties?  “Official” Parties in New York State – based on the number of votes received in the last election for Governor. 

     Web sites are listed to allow parties to speak for themselves:

 Democratic Party                 

 Republican Party                  

 Conservative Party                 

 Working Families Party          

Independence Party of NY       or email:

Green Party                            or email:

5.  How do I get a replacement voter registration card?  Call our office at (315) 536-5135 or stop at the office in the Yates County Office Building, 417 Liberty Street, and we can issue a new card.  If you take your card with you to the polls to vote it can expedite the process.

6.  How do I get excused from jury duty?  The Board of Elections has nothing to do with the selection of jurors.  Margaret DiMartino is the Commissioner of Jurors and can be reached at (315) 536-5126.

7.  How do I know you received my voter registration application?   During most of the year, you will receive a Voter Acknowledgement Card within about 10 days of submitting your registration to us.  We are not allowed to enter new voters for about a month prior to an election. If you apply during that time, you will get your ID card after the election. Please review the card to verify your info, should you have a question, just call the office, 315-536-5135.  Please consider taking the card with you when you go to vote, it should expedite the process for you.  If there are errors in the registration, you should notify the Board of Elections so the registration information can be corrected.

8.  What if I move within Yates County – do I need to notify your office?  YES, PLEASE!  We need to have accurate, residence and mailing, addresses for all voters registered in the county.  Each August we send yellow cards to every voter in the county and get hundreds back because people have moved and not told us.  The Motor Vehicle Office will notify us for you when you update your address with them. 

9.  If I am registered in another county within New York and move to Yates County, is my voter registration automatically transferred?   NO. Each county is responsible for maintaining the voter rolls for that county.  When you move to a new county, you must register to vote all over again, in person at the Board office, at DMV when you change your license or by mailing in a voter registration card.  Registration cards are available in the offices of the town clerks, at the post offices and in the libraries, for your convenience you can complete a form on line, print sign and mail it to us (look under “Forms” on this web site).

10. How do I become an election Inspector?  The Board of Elections provides training annually for all those who want to work as Inspectors.  Since we are always looking for additional inspectors, just let us know of your interest by phone at (315) 536-5135, by e-mail at  or  or by stopping at our office in the Yates County Office Building at 417 Liberty Street, Suite 1124.  If you are considered for employment, you will need to have a pre-employment physical as you will become an employee of Yates County.

11.  Why do you send me a voter card every year?  Each August “Mail Check Cards” go to every registered voter in the county to verify their address.  These cards allow the voters to verify the party in which they are enrolled and where they vote.