Later this month, voting starts in Putnam Valley for the representatives who will help govern the town for the next two years.
Town Supervisor Jacqueline Annabi is running uncontested, but four candidates are vying for the two open seats on the town board. Two candidates are competing to be the town's highway superintendent and two are also seeking to be the town's main representative in the county legislature. Only one person is running for town clerk. More detailed stories about each of the contested races will follow in the next few days.
As described in a previous story, getting voters to turn out has been essential to winning elections in Putnam Valley. Because this is an "off" year, when there is no national election driving more people to the polls, candidates can win by garnering around 1,000 votes out of the 8,420 voters who are registered. Historically, town elections can be very close. In the 2021 election for highway superintendent, for instance, Democrat Shawn Keeler nearly lost to his Republican opponent, Mark Pawera. (They are in a re-match again this year.) The night of the 2021 election, Keeler led by a single vote, a margin that grew to 41 only after absentee ballots were counted.
Putnam Valley voters can evaluate the candidates for these various positions on October 16th at 7pm, when the Lake Peekskill Civic Association is holding a "meet the candidates" forum at its community center.
To check if you are registered, or to get more information about how to register, click here. New voter registration forms must be received by the Putnam County Board of Elections by October 23rd. If you own a home in Putnam Valley, you have the right to vote here — as long as you only vote in one location. More detailed information about that option can be found at http://votewhereitcounts.org/.
Although the general election is on November 7th, early voting starts on October 28th in two locations: 25 Old Rt. 6 in Carmel and the North Highlands Firehouse at 504 Fishkill Rd. in Cold Spring. For all early voting dates and times, click here.
You can also request an absentee ballot by using this link. To ensure that your absentee ballot is received and counted, it must be postmarked no later than November 7th or brought to the Board of Elections office or a poll site by 9pm that day. You can also bring it to an early voting poll site between October 28th and November 5th. Due to a recent change in NYS law, once you have been issued an absentee ballot, you can no longer use a voting machine to cast your ballot, even if you are able to be present.
Given the many important issues facing the town, including high taxes, the impact of severe weather, short-term rental regulations, lake quality issues, and others, getting strong voter turn out is one way to ensure that democracy is alive and well in Putnam Valley.
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