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COLUMN: New DMV site increases voter enrollment; still time to register for general election

— The next general election will be held on Nov. 6. Many changes have taken place in recent years when it comes to casting your vote, all in an effort to improve the process, make it more accurate and allow a voter with disabilities to privately and independently vote on a paper ballot.

Both Oswego and Onondaga counties use ImageCast voting machines, vote-ny.com/english/machine-sequoia.php. Voters mark a paper ballot with a special pen, insert their ballot into a privacy sleeve and then submit the form to be scanned through the new voting machines. If you recall, such changes were prompted by federal law to make voting both more accessible and private for anyone with a disability as well as to eliminate those hanging chads that became a problem in the Presidential election of 2000. That was the election where partially punctured ballots infamously came into question. Thus, the voting machines were replaced with new technology that, hopefully, leaves less up to interpretation.

Online voter registration now available

New York recently made voter enrollment easier by providing an online registration option. The Governor's office reported recently that more than 16,000 New Yorkers including almost 6,000 first-time voters have used the Department of Motor Vehicle's new online voter registration service. New Yorkers can now apply to register to vote, or update their address or party enrollment through my.dmv.ny.gov/crm. It can be used by any New Yorker with a driver's license or non-driver ID. New Yorkers may also complete a digital voter registration application at the DMV. This will soon be available at every DMV office in the state.

According the Governor's office, New York is ranked 47th in the nation in voter registration with less than 64 percent of eligible residents registered to vote. The new system replaces the vast majority of paper forms. The measure is expected to save the state and county board of elections money.

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