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Geneva League of Women Voters focuses on upcoming elections for Ontario County

– By Gabriel Pietrorazio

Sitting on the couch is a common occurrence while self-isolating and staying socially distant – and a collaborative effort between the Geneva League of Women Voters and Hobart and William Smith Colleges has capitalized on last evening on Monday, May 18th.

Civic leaders with HWS Votes, a non-partisan student group dedicated to voter registration organized “Political Couch Party: New York State,” a Zoom session in tandem with inviting guests from the Geneva League of Women Voters for a virtual voting information session that provided the latest updates on how to register for upcoming votes in the City of Geneva and rest of Ontario County.

Focusing on Ontario County, Chris Hoffman, secretary at the GLWV explained that county residents can visit a specific link online to sign-up for an absentee ballot to vote, if they have not received one already in the mail ahead of any New York state primaries.

All absentee ballots must be postmarked for June 22nd, according to Hoffman.

Residents will have the option to vote early in person as well starting Saturday, June 13th until the 21st at specific time slots, which are listed below:

June 13, 2020

Saturday

Polls will be open 9am to 2pm

June 14, 2020

Sunday

Polls will be open 9am to 2pm

June 15, 2020

Monday

Polls will be open 9am to 5pm

June 16, 2020

Tuesday

Polls will be open 12pm to 8pm

June 17, 2020

Wednesday

Polls will be open 12pm to 8pm

June 18, 2020

Thursday  

Polls will be open 10am to 6pm

June 19, 2020

Friday

Polls will be open 9am to 5pm

June 20, 2020

Saturday

Polls will be open 9am to 2pm

June 21, 2020

Sunday

Polls will be open 9am to 2pm

All polling will occur at the Ontario County Board of Elections office, which is located at 2930 County Road 48 in Canandaigua.

Hoffman also mentioned that anyone who resides outside of Ontario County may visit the New York State Board of Elections website to register for an absentee ballot.

Audrey Platt, a civic leader for HWS Votes plans on reaching out to the Ontario County Board of Educations to get answers – mainly in an attempt to clarify some protocols that have been seemingly absent since the COVID-19 pandemic has shrouded all facets of life – even elections.

President Kim Reisch emphasized her gratitude toward Platt and other organizers in keeping the City of Geneva and rest of Ontario County better informed about the electoral process during the pandemic within their collective communities.

As for the determining the city of Geneva school district budget, absentee ballots shall only be accepted.

This year’s budget vote is an especially crucial one because the uncertainty that surrounds where the finances will come from due to the economically straining effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s fund.

Still, the city, like other municipalities are moving forward, prepping ahead for Tuesday, June 9th – Election Day. 

During the “Live from City Hall” afternoon update via Facebook Live from last week, Superintendent Trina Newton noted that a budget hearing shall occur at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27th via Zoom.

RELATED READ: LIVE FROM CITY HALL: Officials talk health, education, and future of Geneva in digital first

Aside from hosting the budget vote itself, there is an open spot available on the city’s school board.

Those who sought to run for office were not required to petition to get on the ballot, but rather notify Superintendent Secretary Adrianne Miller about their interests.

Currently, there are an estimated 9 to 10 candidates running for one vacant seat on the Geneva Board of Education, which is shaping up to become a hotly contested one with only 22 days left and counting to meet all of the candidates, albeit virtually.

While the Finger Lakes has partially reopened with the lifting of Phase 1 restrictions, these candidates cannot simply return to knocking on doors, shaking hands, or kissing babies.

Instead, like other campaigns across the national, state, and local levels, candidates are connecting to constituents online through social media.

For some, they have already started this campaigning approach including Antonio Gomez, a former challenger for the Ward 1 city council race this past November, who lost against current City Councilor Tom Burrall.

RELATED: CANDIDATE SNAPSHOT: Gomez shares story as he looks to represent Ward 1 in Geneva

Brian Finnerty, another name that has been popping up online is also vying for the same spot on the BOE.

Finnerty, who is a part of the Geneva Volunteer Fire Department and the Rotary Club is another active resident jocking for position within this crowded field.

Although the entire field of candidates remains a mystery for now, FingerLakes1.com seeks to shed light on the names and behind this important election.


Editor’s Note: FingerLakes1.com will produce an election questionnaire, to be distributed via email to each candidate who is running for the vacant Board of Education seat.

Candidates may choose to not participate, but their omission shall be clearly noted once the entire questionnaire and accompanying in-depth story are both released sometime well in advance of the scheduled election date.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask to the field of candidates who seek to represent you on the Board of Education, send an email to [email protected], and it just might be added to our questionnaire!



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