October 2011 Issue
September 21, 2011

Are you registered to vote?

Author: Betsy Sandberg
Source: NYSUT United
NYSUT's Register and Vote poster

When it comes to registering to vote, Sandy Bliss knows many just don't.

"For about four decades we ran a voter registration drive" almost every year, in the Frankfort-Schuyler Teachers Association, Bliss said. "Every time, we found more people to register."

That's because people move, get married, get divorced, or change their name. The list of registered voters is public information and you can check at https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/votersearch.aspx to see if you are registered.

As a retiree, Bliss fully expects to still find unregistered voters among retiree council members. That's why RC 12, led by Jeanne Williams Bennett, will conduct a voter registration drive at their Oct. 11 fall luncheon.

"Retirees move and don't realize they join the ranks of the unregistered," she said.

This fall, NYSUT launched a drive to register the unregistered throughout the community. A special flier was mailed to all local unions and retiree councils in August.

Local unions may continue to respond by registering voters in the coming months.

To be eligible to vote in this year's Nov. 8 general election, applications must be postmarked no later than Oct. 14 and received by a board of elections no later than Oct. 19.

Union members can make a difference at the ballot box, Bliss acknowledged.

"We know we need to elect lawmakers who will protect Social Security, Medicare and the working class. But in order to vote, you have to be registered."