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2012 Tri-State Voting Guide

October 16, 2012 6:01 AM

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A man votes at a public school - New York, NY - Nov 2, 2010 (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Voting. It’s a right Americans battled hard for at the birth of this country, and it’s a habit that continues today as the fundamental basis of our democracy. In 2012, Tri-State residents have the opportunity to exercise their civic duty by heading to the polls and selecting officials to represent them in both congressional and presidential races. CBSNewYork has compiled what you need to know to get you to the polls and voting smart.

A man votes at a public school - New York, NY - Nov 2, 2010 (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

A man votes at a public school – New York, NY – Nov 2, 2010 (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

How To Register To Vote

In New York: Information From The New York State Board Of Elections

In Connecticut: Information From The Connecticut Secretary of State

In New Jersey: Information From The New Jersey Dept. Of State

Do Your Research

FILE - A voting booth in Fort Lee, NJ (Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

Voting booth in Fort Lee, NJ (credit: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880)

Not sure who your current elected officials are? You’re not alone. The New York State Board of Elections offers this map so you can identify who is representing you now – and decide if you want to reelect those who are running. New Jersey and Connecticut both offer similar resources.

Check out CBSNewYork.com’s Politics Page to research the elections happening in your district and read up on what you need to know to make an informed decision.

kirsten gillibrand2 2012 Tri State Voting Guide

Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

Candidates and Races

In addition to the presidential election, local elections are taking place across the Tri-State area:

New York
U.S. Senate: Kirsten Gillibrand vs. Wendy Long

New Jersey
U.S. Senate: Robert Menendez vs. Joe Kyrillos
Congressional District 6: Frank Pallone Jr. vs. Anna Little
Congressional District 7: Upendra Chivukula vs. Leonard Lance
Congressional District 9: Bill Pascrell Jr. vs. Shmuley Boteach
Congressional District 10: Donald M. Payne Jr. vs. Brian C. Kelemen
Congressional District 12: Rush Holt vs. Eric A. Beck

Connecticut
United States Senate: Christopher S. Murphy vs. Linda McMahon
Congressional District 4: Jim Himes vs. Steve Obsitnik

Election Day

voting 08222012 2012 Tri State Voting Guide

(Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

In New York, polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. In New Jersey and Connecticut, they close at 8 p.m.

Make sure you bring your drivers license with you. If you don’t have a form of identification,  you can provide proof of identity with the last four digits of your Social Security number, you can bring a valid photo ID or a government document such as the following:

– Current utility bill
– Paycheck
– Bank Statement

If you don’t have any of the above and it is your first time voting, you can ask for an affidavit or provisional ballot. This will require you to swear that you are a registered voter – your registration will then be confirmed afterward, so that your vote can be counted.

If you live in New York City, you’ll be using the city’s new voting machines, introduced in 2010. For a video explanation on how to use them, click here for a video from Vote NY.

Not sure where your polling place is? No worries. Vote411.org makes it easy — check out their polling station finder here.

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