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Pick 1 of 3 ways to vote this year

As an American citizen, you are being asked to make one of the most important decisions of the year on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Should you vote or not vote on Election Day?

That’s really the question. It’s not about WHO you will be voting for in the local, state and federal elections, but the question of voting at all.

We hope you do. We urge you to vote. So much is riding on this election, especially at the federal level — for president and for our representative in the 21st Congressional District.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of New York has made it easier to vote this year with reforms in absentee ballot access. The absentee ballot portal was opened on Tuesday, Sept. 1, and you can request an absentee ballot at www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html#_blank.

But you must be a registered voter. You have until Oct. 9 to register with the Board of Elections.

Next you must decide whether you qualify for an absentee ballot, then if you want one. If you do, apply for one, and fill it out and mail it or drop in off at the Board of Elections office ASAP.

If you’d rather vote in person, you have two options: early voting or voting on Election Day.

Early voting for the general election in Essex County will take place between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1 at the Essex County Public Safety Building, 702 Stowersville Road, Lewis. Below are the times:

– Oct. 24 and 25– 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

– Oct. 26 — noon to 8 p.m.

– Oct. 27 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Oct. 28 — noon to 8 p.m.

– Oct. 29-30 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Oct. 31 and Nov. 1– 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you want to vote in person on Nov. 3, polling stations are open between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

– North Elba: Districts 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6, North Elba Town Hall, 2693 Main St., Lake Placid; Districts 2 and 7, North Elba Town House, 193 River St., Saranac Lake

– Jay: Districts 1 and 2, town office, 11 School Lane, AuSable Forks

– Keene: Districts 1 and 2, fire hall, 15 Market St., Keene Valley

– Wilmington: Community Center, 7 Community Circle, Wilmington

Polling stations will be practicing COVID precautions, including social distancing and requiring that all voters wear face masks.

For questions, visit the Essex County Board of Elections at www.co.essex.ny.us/wp/board-of-elections/ or the state Board of Elections at www.elections.ny.gov.