dustin czarny

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is requiring board of elections across the state to have ballot drop-off locations at all polling sites. In Onondaga County, ballot drop boxes will be available at every early voting and Election Day poll site, during polling hours, as well as at the Board of Elections, during normal business hours.

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The Onondaga County Board of Elections expects a large amount of voters will apply for absentee ballots for the general election. Mail-in voting made up about 65% of the total vote for the June primary in the county. That’s about 10 times the amount of absentee ballots they would normally receive. And it was the largest turnout for a primary the county has on record. But election commissioners do have concerns.

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As thousands of absentee ballots are returned, central New York could have a record-breaking turnout for the June primary, next week. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing all eligible voters to request absentee ballots, to limit the number of people voting in person, because of the coronavirus pandemic. And for those who do vote in person, they will have to follow some new health safety measures.

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Voters in New York have until Friday to register to vote in time for the state's June 23rd Primary. This year, voters will be able to either go to the polls, or vote by absentee ballot.

The state has mailed out absentee ballot applications to everyone eligible to vote in the primary. Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said more than 15,000 thousand voters have asked for an absentee ballot in Onondaga County.

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Board of elections commissioners in central New York met with federal cybersecurity officials to talk about what issues and vulnerabilities they face leading up to the 2020 election. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said New York is much further ahead in election cybersecurity than other states. 

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More than 100,000 residents came out to vote Tuesday night in Onondaga County, a significant increase since the last county executive race was held in 2015. But posting the election night results became a problem for the Onondaga County Board of Elections. 

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The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office has found that the county’s Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny, did not violate the law when he drove for Uber and Lyft during office hours.

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Onondaga County’s top Democrat is firing back at the Republican County Comptroller over an investigation into the Democratic elections commissioner's outside income.

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The Onondaga County Comptroller, a Republican who is running for election this year, is accusing the county’s Democratic Elections Commissioner of driving for Uber or Lyft when he should have been in the office.

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Tuesday is primary day for local offices in New York State. It is the first time local races are having primaries in June, since the legislature passed voting reforms earlier this year. Some election officials in Onondaga County are worried about a lower voter turnout.

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Early voting won’t be the only changes come election time this year. Onondaga County will be going high tech when it comes to poll books.

Gone will be the days of an election worker flipping through one of those big poll books voters have had to sign before casting a ballot in Onondaga County. Michele Sardo, Republican elections commissioner, said electronic poll books will replace them this year on Election Day.

"So when you go to a polling place you won’t be signing on paper,” Sardo said. “It’s going to be an iPad type of thing.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Early voting comes to New York this fall, but in Onondaga County, it’s not without some partisan controversy.

According to state law, counties will be required to open at least one early voting site for every 50,000 registered voters. Onondaga County selected six locations. Two are in the city of Syracuse, with four others spread around the rest of the county. 

Now some Democrats are saying that’s not enough. Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny would like to see eight locations, adding Onondaga Community College, and Cicero Town Hall to the mix.

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Local elected officials are reacting to voting reform measures passed in the Democratic-controlled New York State Legislature last week and signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday. While some Republicans supported the efforts, others said the changes are too costly and could disenfranchise voters.

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Absentee ballots have been mailed out in Onondaga County, after there was some confusion over whether the names of Republican and Conservative candidates for state Supreme Court would appear on the ballots. A judge ruled that the convention process for those candidates was improper and removed them from the ballot.

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Friday is the last day to register to vote in New York State for November’s general election. The state Board of Elections is warning the public about scammers claiming to register people through phone calls and texts.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

If voter turnout is any indication, last week’s primary race in central New York could mean a more active electorate is in the making. 

Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny estimates 24 to 25 percent of registered Democrats came out to the polls in Thursday’s state and local primary. That’s a lot more than usual for a state and local election.

"It was 8 percent in 2014, 8.6 percent the last time we had a governor’s primary," said Czarny. "So to have 24 percent in Onondaga County is incredible.”

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Tuesday is primary day for federal elections in New York. Democrats across central New York's 24th Congressional District will choose between Dana Balter and Juanita Perez Williams, both competing for the Democratic nomination in the race to take on incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November.

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Graduates from the Syracuse City School District this June will walk off stage with more than a diploma. The district is joining elections officials to make it easier for graduates to vote.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, fewer than one in four New Yorkers between the age of 18 and 29 are registered to vote. Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said that’s why he’s happy the county and the Syracuse City School District are joining forces to make it easy for new graduates to register to vote.

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Onondaga County Democratic Committee member Diane Dwire made a general objection last week to the petitions collected by Democrat Juanita Perez Williams in the race for the 24th congressional district.

Perez Williams is challenging the designated Democratic candidate Dana Balter, after entering the race less the two weeks before the petitions were due.

Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said it is typical that campaigns will file general objections to their opponents' petitions, but it is difficult to get someone knocked off the ballot.

Onondaga County Board of Elections

Today is Election Day and more than 200 offices are on ballots in Onondaga County, from the county legislature to the mayor of Syracuse.

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Friday is the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming November election, but it is also the last day to change party affiliation before next year’s primary. New York is a closed primary state meaning only registered party members can vote in their party’s primary.

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Today is Primary Day in upstate New York and most voters will begin casting their ballots at noon. This year, the Onondaga County Board of Elections has had an unusual amount of challenges to petition signatures collected by candidates.

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The Onondaga County Board of Elections is unveiling some new software for Election Day that will allow website visitors to look at vote totals as they come in by geographic location. Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says it’s something voters have never had access to before on election night.

"The voters will know how their neighborhoods have voted and they can see how their individual vote matters," Czarny said.   

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There’s a good chance you’ll be voting at a school on Tuesday. Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says they’re just good places to hold elections.

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New York State is touting online voter registration through the Department of Motor Vehicles this year, noting that more people then ever used the online system last month. However, with the deadline to register just days away, local Board of Election officials suggest potential voters be wary of it, and to make sure they get registered pick up or download a registration form and mail it in.

Onondaga County Republican Elections Commissioner Helen Kiggens has been skittish about the DMV system since last spring’s presidential primary.

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Tuesday is primary day in New York State and central New York Republicans and Democrats can vote in two competitive congressional primaries. The two moderately leaning districts could see more far-left and far-right candidates in November.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

It’s presidential primary day in New York state. But New York’s closed primary election process is creating a bit of confusion for some voters.

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There’s been an unprecedented surge in voter interest in next month’s presidential primary in New York State. Central New Yorkers are among the many that want to cast a ballot April 19.

The deadline for new voters to register in a political party and then be eligible to vote in New York’s presidential primary is Friday, March 25.  

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The upcoming general election will no doubt re-ignite debates over voter turnout and voter suppression.  On this week's episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher speaks with the two elections commissioners for Onondaga County, Republican Helen Kiggins Walsh and Democrat Dustin Czarny.  We find out why they think efforts to suppress voting have largely bypassed the state, and also why it's hard to implement other measures to make it easier to vote.  The short answer to both?  Politics.  

jamelah / via Flickr

Friday is the deadline for New Yorkers to vote in this year’s elections. But there’s an added avenue to register to vote by the midnight deadline.

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