Making Democracy Work

Elections and Voter Information


November 6, 2018 General Election Guide

For more information, contact Schenectady County Board of Elections at (518)377-2469

A reminder from the Schenectady County League of Women Voters




2018 Candidate Forums

Sponsored by the LWV Schenectady County

Oct. 23: Village of Scotia, 7 - 8:45 PM First Reformed Church Scotia 224 North Ballston Ave., Scotia

County Clerk: Cara Jasenski Ackerly (Dem., Con., WF, Ind., WE. Ref.)

Nicholas Barber (Rep.)

Mayor: Thomas Gifford (Dem., Con., WF, Ind.)

Loretta Rigney (Rep., Ref., Revitalize Scotia)

Trustee (2): Heather Gray (Dem. WF, Ind., Ref)

Keven Mathes (Rep., Con., Ref., Revitalize Scotia)
Jeffrey Mazzone (Rep., Revitalize Scotia)
Joseph Rizzo (Dem., Con., Ind., WF)


FAQs for Voting in New York State

THE MOST IMPORTANT GENERAL FACT: If there is a problem, DO NOT LEAVE without voting on an affidavit or emergency ballot. No matter what, if you believe that you are registered to vote, you are entitled to vote on an affidavit ballot! If all else fails, filling out the affidavit ballot gets you registered for the next election.

  1. What do I do if my name or my spouse/friend/son/daughter's name is not in the book? First, ask the poll worker to check again. Remember, you must be registered in the political party to vote in that party's primary. Ask the poll worker to check if you are the right location or use the poll site locator... to be sure that you are at the correct polling place and at the correct table (i.e., ED or Election District).
  2. If you are at the right voting location, vote on an affidavit ballot (a paper ballot that you vote and seal in an envelope- be sure to fill out the envelope completely and correctly) or go to your local Board of Elections and demand to see the election day judge.Martin Luther King Jr. quote about being silent.
  3. The scanner isn't working and everyone is standing around. Call your local Board of Elections to be sure they know about the problem. Call 1-866-OURVOTE. If you can't wait, ask to vote an emergency ballot (not an affidavit ballot), which goes in a special box and will be counted.
  4. What if I moved and forgot to change my registration? If you moved within the same county or city, you are entitled to vote on an affidavit ballot at your new address. If you moved from a different county or city, your vote won't count. But if you fill out an affidavit ballot, you will be re- registered.

Poll Reporting Volunteers!

The LWV of Schenectady helps gather voting results so the media can report accurately and quickly on Election Night. We send a representative to each precinct as the polls close to copy down the results as they come off the machines and get posted on the walls. (Such an old-school way to do things, but charming!) It's a very easy job, taking just a half-hour plus travel time.

The challenge is we have almost a hundred precincts to League cover. Soooo? How about it? Would you take a quick drive to help us out? Contact Dick Shave and we'll find a precinct to call your own.

Candidate Forum Policy


Goal: To educate voters on the issues; to stimulate voter interest; to encourage voter participation in elections; to present programs in a nonpartisan manner.


1. All candidates for office who meet New York State election law requirements to be on the ballot are eligible to take part in candidate forums. No substitutes will be permitted to take the place of a candidate.

2. Candidate for office who have no opponents can not take part in the formal candidate forum. Candidates with no opponents may attend the forum and be recognized and, although not allowed to speak at that time, can speak individually to the voters following the formal part of the event. These candidates will be recognized if they attend and the reason they are not speaking will be explained. The moderator will announce that the program has allowed time at the end of the forum for unopposed candidates to speak individually to those attending.

3. No video or audio taping of candidate debates, or parts thereof, is permitted except by those previously authorized by the League of Women Voters to officially tape the event.

4. Candidates' literature will be allowed to be distributed on tables placed near the entrance to the forum location.

5. The League reserves the right to cancel the forum if circumstances warrant.

6. Candidates will be sent copies of these policies when they are invited to participate in the forum. Any subsequent changes to the program format will be communicated to the candidates prior to the program.

Approved: 08/08/18

Explanation of the Primary Process in NYS

Presidential Primaries in New York State

The Democratic and Republican primaries in New York State are different in important ways, but have similarities. Both are "closed" primaries; participation is limited to the voters who have registered in the party that is sponsoring the election. While delegates are not bound by any law to vote for any particular candidate at the party's national convention, both parties have "pledged" candidates who vote for the candidate to whom they are "pledged". Both parties also have "un-pledged" and/or "super" delegates, who are not committed to a particular candidate. A certain number of delegates in each party participate because they occupy a particular elective or party position. Before the primary, candidates submit to the board of elections a list of delegates from each congressional district that are committed to them. These delegates actually appear on the ballot in the Democratic primary, along with a statewide presidential democratic candidate, but do not appear on the ballot in the Republican primary.

Details of the Nominating Process

Democrats: "Proportional" Primary, 281 delegates at stake New York Democrats have a total of 281 delegates, 151 of whom are "pledged" and will be elected proportionally based on the results of the February 5th primary within each congressional district. In addition, 45 are automatic and/or chosen from party leaders. The remaining 85 delegates are selected at a state Democratic committee meeting in May.

The Democratic Party in New York always uses a proportional method for awarding delegates. The percentage of delegates each candidate is awarded (or the number of undecided delegates) is representative of the number of primary votes for the candidate.

The Democratic Party primary in New York is really a "dual primary." Candidates for president appear on the ballot and run against each other in a statewide primary, and delegates and alternate delegates run in each congressional district. Delegates and alternates are either committed to a presidential candidate or uncommitted, and males and females are equally represented among the delegate choices for a candidate.

Republicans: "Winner-take-all" Primary, 101 delegates at stake

The National Republican Party, unlike the Democratic Party, allows each state to decide whether to use a "winner-take-all method" or the "proportional" method. In the winner-take-all method, the candidate whom the majority of caucus participants or voters support receives all the delegates for the state. New York is a "winner take all" state.

In New York, the selection of delegates and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention is determined by a statewide primary of candidates for the office of President. Unlike the Democratic primary ballot, the names of the delegates and alternate delegates do no appear. Based on the results of the February 5th presidential primary, 87 of the state's 101 Republican delegates are allocated to the presidential candidate with the most votes statewide. At a Republican state committee meeting, the remaining 14 unpledged delegates are selected from party leaders.

Local Boards of Elections

Schenectady County Board of Elections 2696 Hamburg Street Schenectady, NY 12303 518-377-2469

New York State Board of Elections 40 North Pearl St. Suite 5 Albany, NY 12207-2729 518-474-6220 Email:

City Council and Town Board Meetings

Schenectady City Council meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays at the City Hall, 7 p.m.

Glenville Town Board meets the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at the Municipal Center, 7:30 p.m.

Rotterdam Town Board meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at Assembly Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Niskayuna Town Board: Call 386-4592 for the schedule

Schenectady County Legislature Meetings

The Schenectady County Legislature meets the 2nd Tuesdays in the County Office Building at 7 p.m.

Local and State-Wide Political Information

Click here for political information about the City and County of Schenectady, the Capital District Area, and Statewide Politics.

The above is a web-site maintained by the SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE, a service of the Schenectady County Public Library.

The League of Women Voters Education Fund conducts voter service and citizen education activities. It is a nonpartisan nonprofit public policy educational organization, which:

  • Builds citizen participation in the democratic process.

  • Studies key community issues at all government levels in an unbiased manner.

  • Enables people to seek positive solutions to public policy issues through education and conflict management.

Donations to the Education Fund, a 501(c)(3)corporation, are fully tax-deductible where allowed by law.