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General Election. The General Election takes place each year on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, the polls being open continuously from 6 A. M. until 5 P. M. A vote on national, state, county, city, town and village officers and on constitutional amendments and public questions is taken on this date in varying years. Every fourth year the General Election is on the same day as the National Presidential Election, when 45 electors for President and Vice President of the United States are elected by state-wide vote. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Comptroller, Treasurer, Attorney-General and State Engineer are chosen at the General Election each even-numbered year. The state is represented in the national Sen. ate by two senators, each holding office for six years. A new senator is elected at the General Election preceding the expiration of the term of the holder of the office. A Congressman from each of the 43 congressional districts is elected each even-numbered year, as well as a state senator from each of the 51 senatorial districts. An assemblyman from each of the 150 assembly districts is elected each year. The
fourteen-year terms of office of the seven judges of the court of appeals and of the supreme court judges expire in varying years, and their successors are chosen at the General Elections preceding the expiration of the terms. County officers are elected at the General Election in odd-numbered years, as are officers in first and second and some third class cities. Smaller communities have their elections on varying dates.
Qualifications of Voters. A qualified voter is a citizen who is or will be on the day of election 21 years old, who has been an inhabitant of the state for one year preceding the election, who has been a resident of the county for the last four months, who has been a resident of the election district in which he votes for the last 30 days. If a naturalized citizen he must in addition to the foregoing provisions have been naturalized at least 90 days prior to the election. Property-owning qualifications are necessary for voting on some town and village questions. The ownership of property taxable for school purposes or the guardianship of a child of school age is also necessary for voting in school district meetings.
Registration of Voters. Days are appointed annually in each district for the registration of voters. At this time are registered, the name, address, occupation and other statistics concerning the applicant. In cities and villages of 5,000 or more inhabitants only those may be registered who appear personally at the appointed time. In an election district situated wholly outside a city or village of 5,000 or more inhabitants the election inspectors register without personal application the names of those voting at the last General Election still living in the district and the names of such others as are shown to be qualified to be registered. On registration days registration may be made for any election in the district during the following year, provided the citizen will be qualified to vote on the day of election. A person who has been registered and who changes his residence within the same election district may state the change to the election inspectors on registration day or election day.
Official Primary Elections. An official primary election is held each year on the seventh Tuesday before the General Election. In the year of a National Presidential Election an additional official primary is held on the first Tuesday in April. On these days the political parties choose their candidates, the official polling places and regular election officers being used. Each primary is open for voting from 7 A. M. until 9 P. M., except in a city of more than 1,000,000 inhabitants, where the primaries are open from 3 P. M until 9 P. M. To be entitled to vote at an official primary election a citizen must have enrolled in the preceding year as a member of the party holding the election and must be qualified to vote on the day of election.
Party Enrollment. Party enrollment is made on registration day where personal registration is required. A person enrolled as a member of one political party may not enroll as a member of any other political party before the first day of the next registration except in the instance of one who has been an enrolled member of the same political party for five years. If by mistake such a person enrolls with a different political party, the enrollment may be cancelled upon application to the custodian of the primary records and the voter may again be enrolled with his party. One who becomes of age after the General Election may enroll as a member of a political party on or before the fourth Tuesday preceding an official primary election of the party. No voter may take part in any primary election of any party other than the party in which he is at that time enrolled. A voter already enrolled who moves into another election district in the same assembly district may at any time between February 1st and the thirtieth day before the annual primary election become enrolled therein as a member of the same party by making application to the proper official and filing an affidavit with the custodian of primary records.
Casting a Vote. A voter on entering the appointed polling place to vote at an election, gives his name and address to the election inspectors. If his right to vote is not challenged, the voter proceeds to the machine, or where ballots are used, a ballot or set of ballots is presented by the ballot clerks. At the head of each ballot are instructions for marking it. The marked ballot is returned to the inspector in charge of the ballot box. If the ballot or set of ballots is spoiled others may be obtained, not exceeding three sets.
Time Allowed Employees to Vote. Any person entitled to vote at a General Election may absent himself from his service or employment for a period of two hours during the time that the polls are open. If the voter notifies his employer of such intended absence, time is designated by the employer and the voter is absent during the designated hours; or if the employer upon the day of such notice makes no designation and the voter is absent from business during any two consecutive hours while the polls are open, no deduction shall be made from his usual salary and no other penalty shall be imposed by the employer for such absence.
Party Committees. One member is elected from each assembly district in even-numbered years to the party state committee. One member is elected from each election district annually to the party county committee. Delegates and alternates to the national party convention are elected from congressional districts and from the state at large, the number from the state at large being limited to four delegates and alternates.
Designation of Candidates. Designation of candidates for party nomination or for election to party positions is by petition only, the number of signatures required varying according to the office and population of the community. No enrolled voter shall join in designating a greater number of candidates for any position than the number to be elected