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Key dates for upcoming election season

In just over five months, voters will head to the polls for midterm elections, when Democrats will vie to regain control of Congress while Republicans push to maintain control of all three branches of government under President Trump.

In the 1st Congressional District, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) will seek a third term in what could be a key national race. A challenger has yet to emerge from the field of Democratic candidates.

Before Nov. 6 rolls around, however, several key dates are coming that voters should keep in mind. Here’s a refresher on key dates and deadlines for the upcoming election season, with information gathered from the New York State Board of Elections.

How do I register to vote?

Suffolk County residents must register through the Suffolk County Board of Elections located on Yaphank Avenue in Yaphank. Voter registration forms can be delivered in person or mailed to P.O. Box 700, Yaphank, NY 11980. Voters must be United States citizens, 18 years old by the end of the year, not in prison or on parole and cannot claim the right to vote elsewhere, according to the New York BOE. Registrants can also use that form to change a name or address, become a member of a political party or change their party affiliation.

When is the federal primary election? What is the registration deadline to vote in the primaries?

Federal primary elections are Tuesday, June 26. The primaries ask voters to decide which candidate should represent their political party in the general election in November. Registration forms by mail must be postmarked by June 1 and received by the county BOE no later than June 6. If done in person, voting forms must be submitted to the local BOE by June 1.

Who are the candidates so far in the 1st Congressional District?

Mr. Zeldin, the incumbent Republican who was first elected in 2014, will be challenged by the winner of the Democratic primary. Those candidates are Kate Browning, Elaine DiMasi, Perry Gershon, David Pechefsky and Vivian Viloria-Fisher. Brendon Henry, who had been running as well, dropped out of the race in April.

When are the state and local primary elections? What is the deadline to register?

The state and local primaries are Sept. 13. If someone wants to vote in this election, the mail-in registration form must be postmarked no later than Aug. 19 and received by the Board of Elections no later than Aug. 24. In-person drop-offs must be made no later than Aug. 19.

What is the deadline to register to vote in the 2018 November midterm elections?

To vote in the Nov. 6 election, registration forms must be postmarked by Oct. 12 and received by Oct. 17.

Am I allowed to vote in the jurisdiction of my vacation home?

Yes. In New York State, it is legal for someone to register to vote in the district where they own a second home, but voting cannot be split between two locations. Voter registration does not serve as proof of primary residence, according to a 2008 state appellate court decision. That ruling said that a homeowner’s intent and personal connection to the home was what mattered most, not the address on their driver’s license.

How do I submit an absentee ballot?

Applications for absentee ballots are available at the Yaphank Board of Elections office and can be downloaded from the New York State elections website. Requests for absentee ballots can also be made by sending a letter to the county BOE. After filling these out, applications must be mailed to the Yaphank P.O. Box no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person by the day before the election.

Where do I go to vote in the primaries and general election?

Voters can look up their regular polling places here. The listings also give the address you’re registered under and your party affiliation.

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