register to vote by Fri Oct 9; Thurs = best if by mail

Margaret McCasland

While this is not usual IMM announcements content, these are not usual times, and this post contains exceptionally time-constrained information. This was meant to be in the October IMM newsletter, however a mix of major and minor medical situations in my family made that impossible (everyone is doing better now). Thus I am sending this and one closely related post to the list with the most people on it. --Margaret

IMM’s Peace and Social Justice Committee decided at their September 20th meeting to encourage all eligible persons to vote in the November 3rd election and to share safe ways of voting. As understandably often happens in these times, we have not been able to follow thru on some of the possibilities we discussed. However we are starting with a series of announcements with voter information. They are being written by Margaret McCasland, a long-time election worker, based on information from our local Board of Elections. 

Each announcement will also be posted to a document you can read on the web via this link:

The first two topics have a deadline of this Friday, October 9:

    How to register to vote (below)

    How --and why-- to update your registration (next post)

Future installments in this series will talk about “How to vote by mail,” “How to vote safely in person,” and “How to fill out the ballot.” Let Margaret know if there are other topics you want to know more about.


OVERVIEW:  We are only including non-partisan, general information about how to vote. Elections, even when they involve federal offices, are run according to state laws, regulations and policies, so voting procedures vary from state to state. Many procedural decisions are made by each county’s bipartisan Board of Elections. The following details are specific for voters in Tompkins County. If you live in another county, you can go to <> for a link to your county’s Board of Elections.


Friday October 9 is the LAST day register in person or to postmark a mailed registration form.  Even if you plan to register in person at the Board of Elections, you can save time by filling out the form in advance. 

Download the voter registration form here:

See printing details below, under registering by mail.

1. REGISTERING IN PERSON at the Board of Elections, 128 E Buffalo St, Ithaca (downstairs from the county assessor's office)

from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

--You can drop off a form you have already filled out (they will review it in case they have questions). 

--You can fill out a form they provide you.  

COVID safety: the Board of Elections only lets a few people inside at a time. You may have to wait outside under an overhang. If you are just dropping off the form, a staff person will collect it from you outside.

2. REGISTERING BY MAIL (be sure it is postmarked by Fri. Oct 9):

       a. Download the voter registration form here:

NOTE: You only have to print page 1; page 2 is optional and you only need to print it if you can print both sides on one sheet of paper AND you want to mail the form without an envelope (OR if you want to fill out the organ donor information). If you are mailing in your form, I recommend using an envelope.

       b.  Fill it out very carefully. If you have questions, you can call the Board of Elections at (607) 274-5522  or Margaret at (607) 216-1091.

    c. Address it to:

Tompkins County Board of Elections

128 E Buffalo St, Ithaca NY 14850

       d. Drop it off at a Post Office before they close: check Post Office hours here:

NOTE: Some rural Post Offices close much earlier than the main Ithaca Post Offices.

             e. Mail it THURSDAY if you cannot get to a Post Office on Friday. To be sure it is post-marked by Oct 9, put it in a blue Post Office collection box or your home mailbox before the mail gets picked up Thursday, Oct 8. 

NOTE: Some blue collection boxes only have mail picked up in the morning or at noon, so putting it in a blue box on Friday after the mail is picked up will not work.