Voted. How To Vote, And What To Expect While At The Polls

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The polls are open from 6 am to 9 pm in Beacon.

If you’re looking for where to vote for your Ward, then you can click here to see the list of locations we compiled, including easy links to maps to see which District within a Ward you reside in. Or even if you don’t know what Ward you are in, you can find out by following those links.

What Is It Like? How Do I Cast My Vote?

To my surprise, my very own husband called to ask me this: “How do I vote? Are there levers?”

Levers? No. Ok, so here’s what it’s like to vote in Beacon:

You walk into your polling precinct, aka “place to vote” as I call it. This is determined by “Ward.” There are four Wards in Beacon. It’s like big borders, and you live within a border of one of them. Within a Ward, there may be a smaller zone called a “District.” You probably never think about these things until Voting Day, but usually that little yellow card that comes in the mail prior to election time tells you. The last time I saw a card was during the primaries this year. You can get a list of polling locations in Beacon here.

Once you get to your voting location, there are several tables set up inside. The tables are divided by District (that border within a Ward) and by name (in alphabetical order). You will find your name at one of them.

You may be asked: “What District are you in?” If you checked the locations list here, you’ll know. “I’m in District 2!” you could say, and volunteers will tell you what table you should go to next. However, if you don’t know what District you are in (like me), there is hopefully a table dedicated to District Discovery at your polling place just for telling you this information. (Insider Tip: Check this first! It will save you from waiting in a line).

Once it’s your turn in line, a volunteer will hand you a large voting card with a privacy sleeve. You’ll walk over to tall table/desks with metal privacy walls around the top of the desk. A pen is provided for you to mark your circle bubbles of your votes. The directions at the top of the voting card will tell you how many people to vote for in each race. Like for governor, you would vote for one person. For judges, you would vote for seven names. Just follow those directions at the top to make sure you’re not over- or under-filling in the circles.

When you’ve completed all of your circles, you walk it over to a scanning machine. Another volunteer will be there to make sure the machine doesn’t break, because you are feeding the machine with your voter card yourself. Once you slide your card into the machine, it tallies it, swallows your card, and tells you what number voter you were.

I was #60!

Thank You To The Volunteers

A HUGE thank you for the volunteers who are running these polls. If when you go to vote, and you wish it were run differently, or had better signs, it’s best not to take your frustration out on the volunteers. They are your friends and neighbors, and may not be as experienced at running an event as you are. Same goes for any event run in Beacon (or anywhere in the world). If you feel passionately about how something is organized, then it’s best you sign up to volunteer, and help make it a better experience for all of us.

Places to Vote in Beacon for Elections (for General and Primary)

EDITORIAL NOTE: This article has been updated to reflect how to vote in the election on November 6, 2018.

Wondering where to go vote this Tuesday, November 6, 2018? Did you toss your yellow card by accident? Below is a list of locations for where to cast your ballot based on where you live and are registered.

Polls for Beacon are open from 6 am to 9 pm, according to the Dutchess County Board of Elections.

There are two sources for this list of locations:

ADDRESSES

Lewis Tompkins Hose Company
Route 9D Entrance, 13 South Ave.
Beacon, NY 12508

Rombout Middle School
84 Matteawan Road
Beacon, NY 12508

James V. Forrestal Elementary School
125 Liberty St.
Beacon, NY 12508

First Presbyterian Church
50 Liberty St.
Beacon, NY 12508

LOCATIONS

Ward 1, District 1:
Lewis Tompkins Hose Company
Ward 1, District 2: Rombout Middle School
Ward 2, All Districts: Lewis Tompkins Hose Company
Ward 3, District 1: Rombout Middle School
Ward 3, Districts 2 and 3: James V. Forrestal Elementary
Ward 4, All Districts: First Presbyterian Church


District - Which District in Which Ward?

Voters can determine what District they’re in either by looking at the yellow voter card that arrived by mail, or by looking at the map on this website:

http://dutchesselections.com/pdf/2014townmaps/CityofBeacon.pdf.

Or, you can find what District you are at this VoterLookUp web page from New York State's Register to Vote page.

The VoterLookUp tool will tell you what District you are in, as well as which Ward, Senate District, County Legislative District, Assembly District, and Congressional District apply to you.

Can I Vote in The Primary Elections?

Two answers to this:

  • You’ll need to be registered in Beacon if you’re not already. You only need to do this once for each move. If you got the little yellow card in the mail telling you where to vote, you’re good. Otherwise, look yourself up at this VoterLookUp web page.

  • You’ll need to be registered in a party if you want to vote in the primary elections. If you’re registered to vote, but didn’t officially declare a party on your registration, then you can’t vote in the primaries for your party. You also can’t sign name collection forms from politicians looking to get onto the ballot, BTW. You would need to be registered in their party. You will, however, have gotten a little yellow card in the mail, even if you haven’t officially affiliated with a party.

  • You do not need to be affiliated or registered with a party (Independent, Republican, Democrat, Green Party, Working Families, etc.) to vote in the General Election. You do need to be registered to vote, however, based on where you live (see above).

Where Can I Register to Vote?

Here’s how to register to vote in Beacon:

You could click here to do it via this website, and please note: You’ll need to snail-mail it in.

Or, you can register to vote with friendly people around town who have set up registration stations. Some that we know of:

  • The Howland Public Library

  • The Spirit of Beacon Day Parade 2018. Look for a table from “We All Vote”

  • The annual Sukkah that happens each fall down at Polhill Park (the park across from Bank Square and Beacon Creamery where the Visitors Center is)

There is a deadline to register to vote - you’ll want to be all buttoned up by Sunday, September 30, if you’re doing it via the folks above. They are physically driving the registration forms to their destination in Poughkeepsie. “We are driving them to Poughkeepsie so we don’t give people stamps.

There are lots of rules about this,” says Ronna Litchtenberg, a volunteer with When We All Vote. Or, people can take the form home and mail it in themselves. “But we’re making it easy on you,” says Kelly Ellenwood, another volunteer. “We’ll hand-deliver it to Poughkeepsie to make sure it gets there.”

But don’t let it slide by again. In a small city town, your vote really does make a difference. "One vote matters, especially in Beacon where elections have been decided on by as few as 10 votes,” says Ronna.