Election Day this year is Tuesday, Nov. 2, and this year there are a plethora of local races at the town and county level. Local civics groups have begun to announce debates that are scheduled in the upcoming weeks.
The Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association is hosting two “Meet the Candidates Forums.” The first, for Southold Town Board candidates, is set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 27, at the Mattituck Park District’s Community Room at Veterans Beach.
The second forum is set for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, also at the Veterans Park Community Room. It will focus on candidates for trustee, highway superintendent, and clerk.
Both forums are planned to be in person with COVID protocols in place: Masks and social distancing while inside the building. MLCA will monitor local and regional COVID trends to determine whether changes are required. Members of MLCA may ask questions of the candidates via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The East Marion Community Association and Orient Association are planning Zoom candidate forums, with Southold town board, town clerk and highway superintendent on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon at this link, and with trustee candidates on Monday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at this link.
The Jamesport Civic Association will also be hosting a candidate forum with Riverhead Town candidates on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jamesport Meeting House, 1590 Main Road in Jamesport.
The League of Women Voters of the Hamptons, Shelter Island and North Fork has also announced its debate schedule, with Zoom debates scheduled for Southampton Town Board on Monday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m., for Suffolk County Legislature on Monday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. and for East Hampton Town Board on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m.
The League of Women Voters is also planning a series of voter information tables throughout the East End on National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, Sept. 28. .
The League will be distributing voter registration forms, absentee ballot applications, flyers with the 12 early voting dates/sites/times on October 23 through 31, and a LWVNYS brochure with pros/cons of the five propositions on the ballot on Election Day.
On Tuesday, September 28, League tables will be stationed:
outside the Montauk Post Office, 10 a.m.-12 noon;
outside the Montauk Library, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.;
outside the East Hampton Post Office, 12-2 p.m.;
outside the Springs General Store, 8-10 a.m.;
outside the Bridgehampton Post Office, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.;
outside Southampton Stop & Shop, 3-5 p.m.
outside Southampton’s Rogers Memorial Library on Coopers Farm Rd., 3-5 p.m.;
outside Hampton Bays King Kullen, 52 E. Montauk Hwy., 12-2 p.m.
outside Hampton Bays Dollar Store, 252 W. Montauk Hwy., 12-2 p.m.
in Westhampton Beach inside Westhampton Library, 4-6 p.m.
at Shelter Island Library, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
There will also be a table before National Voter Registration Day, on Sunday, Sept. 26, at St. Rosalie’s Church, 52 E. Montauk Hwy., for the Spanish Mass, 3:45-5:30 p.m.
The mail-in deadline for voter registration forms is October 8. The mail-in deadline for the absentee ballot application is October 18, while the mail-in postmark deadline for the return of the absentee ballot is election day, November 2.
Voter registration forms are also available online by going to the New York State Board of Elections website at www.elections.ny.gov
For East Hampton Town residents, the early voting site from October 23-31 will be Windmill Village, 219 Accabonac Rd., Community Room 2. For Southampton Town residents, the site is Stony Brook Southampton University campus gym, 70 Tuckahoe Rd.
For Southold Town, it’s Southold Senior Center, 750 Pacific St. in Mattituck. For Riverhead Town, it’s Riverhead Senior Center at 60 Shade Tree Lane in Aquabogue. There is no early voting site on Shelter Island.
Suffolk County registered voters may vote at any of the 12 early voting sites in Suffolk County, not only the location in their town.
Those Who Need to Register
Now in its 10th year, National Voter Registration Day was established in 2012 on the fourth Tuesday in September and boasts thousands of partnering organizations throughout the United States. Its purpose is to bring attention to the importance of registering to vote on time.
The National Voter Registration Day organization reminds people that over four million Americans will turn 18 and be newly eligible to vote this year; as many as 30 million Americans will move and need to update their voter registration; and an average of two million Americans will get married, and many of them will change their names and need to update their voter registrations.
Those with questions can contact the League at 631-324-4637 or the Suffolk County Board of Elections at 631-852-4500 or www.suffolkvotes.com