Making Democracy Work

Elections and Voter Information

We make voting easier through voter education programs.

Hear from Your Representatives!

Meet New York's 20th Congressional District Candidates Congressman Paul Tonko (Democrat) Republican Challenger Joe Vitollo

Tuesday, October 18, 7 to 8:45 pm Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library 475 Moe Road, Clifton Park

Karen DeWitt, Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, Matthew Hamilton Reporter for the Times Union, and Steve Muller League Women Voters will ask questions.

Topics will include Economic, Domestic, and Foreign Policy questions

Time for written audience questions. Media and the Public welcome

Sponsored by the LWV of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, & Schenectady

Voter Services Volunteer Opportunities!

Fall is the busiest season for Voter Services and all of our work is volunteer driven. There are many ways that League members can be of help and in case you've missed my previous pleas, here they are:

Voter Registration The League will continue providing opportunities for voter registration this year. To date we have conducted voter registration at Schenectady County Community College and at the Schenectady Green Market. Upcoming voter registration events will be held at Union College, Schenectady High School, the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen, Bornt Library Branch, SICM Food Pantry, and Price Chopper Supermarket. We will join in National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday September 27nd at several sites in the county. And other dates are being planned as well.

Candidate Forums In October, we will be co-sponsoring two candidate forums with Albany and Saratoga Leagues. That is because we share state legislators with these counties. On October 18 the Schenectady and Saratoga Leagues of Women Voters will co-sponsor a candidate forum for State Senate District 49 and Assembly District 110 at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, 476 Moe Road, Clifton Park at 7 PM. The Albany and Schenectady Leagues will cosponsor the candidate forum for State Senate District 46 and Assembly Districts 111 and 112. Yet to be scheduled, the forum is targeted to be held in Schenectady County. Many volunteers are needed to carry out this important community service. We need folks to help set up for the forums, greeters to meet the attendees and hand out the program and index cards for their questions, people to review these questions to avoid duplication and weed out inappropriate comments/questions such as personal attacks, and people to watch the clock so candidates stay within the time limits. We will share the responsibilities with the other leagues but if you have an interest and willingness to help---contact Vicki McGowan. And plan to attend the forum featuring your particular representatives to find out more about the candidates' positions on issues that concern you.

Election Result Collection Every year the League and AAUW partner to collect the election results at as many polling places in the County as possible. We are paid for these efforts by reporting results to a central registry that tabulate and report election results to area media. The proceeds from this effort are used to pay for the taping of candidate forums held in October which are broadcast on Schenectady's Public Access Station. The more polling places we cover, the more we receive in payments. So if you would be willing to be at an assigned polling place (could be your own!) to collect returns at 9PM on Election Night, November 8, 2016, please contact Kay Ackerman.

Voter Registration Drives



Salvation Army Soup Kitchen 7:30 - 8:30 AM; 12 N - 1 PM
222 Lafayette Street

Bornt Library Branch 10 AM - 3 PM
948 State Street

Union College 11 AM - 5 PM
Reamer Campus Center

SCCC 11 AM - 7:30 PM
Elston Hall

Wednesday, September 28 SICM Food Pantry, 839 Albany Street 8 AM - 11 AM

Saturday, October 8 Price Chopper, 1640 Eastern Parkway 10 AM - 6 PM

Wednesday, October 12 SCCC Elston Hall 10:30 - 4 PM


  • Register at the County Board of Elections in person by Friday, October 14th; register by mail: postmarked by Friday October 14th and received by October 19th.
  • Apply for absentee ballot in person by Monday, November 7th; apply for absentee ballot by mail: postmarked by Tuesday November 1st.
  • Deliver ballot in person by Tuesday, November 8th; and deliver ballot by mail: postmarked by Monday, November 7th and received by Saturday November 12th.

Voter Registration Forms and Absentee Ballot Applications are available at the Schenectady County Board of Elections, 388 Broadway, Suite E and can be downloaded from the Board of Elections web page at

Kay Ackerman,
Voter Services Chair

2016 Voter Guides

Voter Information Booklets

Candidate Forum Information

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 and are involved in contested races are eligible to take part in candidate forums.

2. When more than one candidate for a state, county or local office is on the ballot and an invited candidate for state, county or local office does not respond or accept an invitation to the forum, or when a candidate accepts but does not appear at the forum, the candidate present at the forum may make a statement and answer audience submitted/League reviewed questions as long as this situation is made clear to the audience. The moderator will be permitted to announce that the absent person is a candidate for that office. No substitutes will be permitted to take the place of a candidate. The absent candidate will be allowed to submit an opening statement with the same time limits as the candidates present. The moderator would read the statement provided by the absent candidate.

3. No videotaping 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 a copy of these policies when they are invited to participate in the forum. Any subsequent changes to the program format will be communicated to candidates prior to the program.

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

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.