What to expect for voting in general elections in Chemung County


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – There are three ways to vote for the general elections on Nov. 3 in Chemung County: in-person at a polling location, 10 days prior during early voting or through absentee ballots.

During the primary elections, New York State gave out mandates to for the Board of Elections to send out absentee ballot applications to all eligible voters. However, for the general elections, that’s not the case.

Anyone who wishes to vote absentee must check one of the boxes listed in section 1.

Unless you have COVID-19 or are taking care of someone sick with the coronavirus, you may not choose the pandemic as an option to vote absentee. However, this is may change if Governor Andrew Cuomo decides otherwise.

The Chemung County Board of Elections Co-Commissioner, Cindy Emmer, ensures that absentee voting is very secure. She says it’s only employees that handle the ballots and that the building itself is locked so no one can enter and tamper with ballots.

“When the absentee ballots come in here, they’re very secure,” said Emmer. “Our experience has been very good working with the post office particularly in the primary it’s been a very good relationship. The majority of the ballots have come in on time and the way they should be.”

Emmer also walks 18 News through the board’s steps of processing absentee ballots.

“When an absentee ballot comes in, it’s opened,” said Emmer. “The ballot isn’t opened, the envelope that the ballot comes in is opened and then the ballot is date stamped. Then it’s filed until at some point the signatures are checked.”

The Chemung County Board of Elections is currently trying to find more workers for the polls for the upcoming general elections. To apply you can go to their website or call at (607) 737-5475.

For any in-person voting, they’re asking voters to wear masks and social distance when possible. If a voter shows up without a mask, one can be provided.

For further questions on voting absentee or general questions on voting for each county, here are the board of election’s phone numbers by county:

  • Schuyler: (607) 535-8195
  • Schuyler: (607) 535-8195
  • Tioga County, Pa.: (570) 723-8230

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