October 9, 2013 —
There was a festive atmosphere at the barn in Jeffersonville where full-time residents and weekenders gathered for a voter registration drive on October 6. Posters for the drive urged residents to “vote where it counts,” and was aimed at, among others, people who own second homes in Sullivan County, and who are, according to various court decisions, therefore eligible to vote in Sullivan County, even if the residents spend more time at a home elsewhere.
In various cases, New York courts have ruled that a person with two residences has a choice about where to vote. In one decision, a court wrote that a person in that situation, “may choose one to which she has legitimate, significant and continuing attachments as her residence for purposes of the Election Law.”
In another case the court wrote that election law, “does not preclude a person from having two residences and choosing one for election purposes provided he or she has ‘legitimate, significant and continuing attachments’ to that residence.”
There were second homeowners in attendance and filling out voter-registration forms at the event, and there were a healthy number of registration forms being filled out and collected for delivery to the county.
Most of the candidates on hand were Democrats, but the organizers pointed out that this was a nonpartisan event, and in fact at least one Republican candidate turned out to the event — Al Steppich, who is running for re-election to the Town of Delaware council.
Arliss Howard, who with his wife Debra Winger hosted the event, said, “I’ve already had two conversations with people I don’t agree with,” and he urged attendees to “find somebody that you may not share anything with, politically, religiously, socio-economically, and talk to them.” He said his experience was stimulating.
A number of towns were represented at the gathering. From the Town of Callicoon was Nancy Lee, supervisor candidate, and Ken Hilton and Van Morrow, running for town council; from the Town of Cochecton were Joan Glase and Paul Salzberg, running for council seats; from the Town of Delaware, supervisor candidate Stephan Lundgren and Steppich; from the Town of Fremont, Kate Bowers and Sam Avrett running for council seats; and from the Town of Tusten, Andrea Reynosa, candidate for town council.