LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Many student voters approached the Livingston County Board of Elections (BOE) over the past week with concerns about their voter status and their ability to participate in Tuesday’s Presidential primary and the November general election.
More students voted in Tuesday’s election than in poll workers’ memory, but some students said that the procedure at the polling places was confusing.
“I was told that my record was purged and that because my address had changed (which was supposedly the reason I was inactive) that my ballot almost certainly would not count,” said SUNY Geneseo student Justine Talbot, who voted by affidavit ballot on Tuesday.
Nancy Leven, Republican Commissioner for the BOE, said that many students who have changed their mailing address had their voter status changed to ‘inactive,’ which likely led to some of the confusion. Voter information is available on the Board of Elections’ website here.
“Election law requires the Board of Elections to verify addresses by mail twice a year,” said Leven. “We sent about 36,000 postcards to voters, and if they came back as not deliverable to that address, the voter became inactive. An inactive voter can still vote by affidavit ballot, and their vote will count.”
Talbot said that she is glad that her affidavit vote counted, but maintains that she was told differently at the polls.
The BOE says that they have answered many voter questions over the past week and encourage all voters to continue asking questions to resolve any potential issues with registration before November’s general election.
“Let’s get ready for November now, it will only decrease your time at the poll site and result in a better voter experience,” said Leven, “Voter registration information is always on our website, and you can always call us or email us. We keep copies of everything, every voter’s voter history. A lot of people are surprised by how much information we have here.”