Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Oct. 20, 2004

Oswego County Voters Can Look Up their Polling Place on County Web Site

Oswego County residents can find out where to vote on Election Day by a simple click on the county government website.

Election Commissioners Donald Wart and William Scriber announced today that people can find out if they're registered to vote, and get directions to their polling place, by logging onto www.oswegocounty.com/elect/boesearch.php

The program uses the person's first and last name and birth date to determine if the user is a registered voter. If the voter is registered, the address of their polling place is displayed. The site is linked to Mapquest for a map and optional driving directions.

County Legislator Jack Beckwith, chairman of the Legislature's Records Committee, said the program is important because it will provide faster service to people who want to verify their registration and polling place. It will also allow the board of elections staff to work more efficiently handling telephone calls from people who need follow-up assistance.

The website also provides instructions for people that have moved in the past year, and people who are not registered to vote. Each year before Election Day, the board receives a large volume of phone calls from citizens who want to know if they are registered, and where their polling place is.

Every town and city has had a large increase in voter registrations this year. There are a record number of over 73,850 registered voters in Oswego County. Over 5,550 new voters registered since Jan. 1.

Legislator Beckwith, District 21, Hannibal, chairs the Legislature's Records Committee, which oversees the Board of Elections as well as the Real Property Tax Office and County Clerk's Office. "This project is a great example of cooperation and innovative thinking among county departments," he said. "The Board of Elections has registered 4,000 new voters since Sept. 1. With this volume of activity, the web search feature will be very helpful to voters as well as the board of elections staff."

Other members of the Records Committee include legislators Clayton Brewer, District 24, Fulton; Arthur Gearsbeck, District 6, West Monroe and Hastings; Leonard Ponzi, District 17, Oswego and Scriba; Jerry Thomas, District 1, Sandy Creek, Boylston and Redfield; and Philip Vasho, District 22, Fulton and Granby.

The software program, created by senior computer programmer John St. John in the Oswego County Central Services Department, uses the database of registered voters maintained by the County Board of Elections. Scriber extracted the data from the board records and provided it in a format that could be used in the program.

The election commissioners and legislators had high praise for St. John, who quickly created the user-friendly program. "He did a great job," they said.

Richard Hogan, director of the Central Services Department, said his agency oversees computer and technology functions for all departments of county government. The staff frequently collaborates with other departments to create customized software programs that meet specific needs of county government.

St. John also wrote the computer program that allows Internet users to view election results on the county website, and a program that allows users to search the county real property database to learn assessed value, taxes and land use for each parcel of property in Oswego County. Between May 1 and Sept. 30, the website was accessed by visitors over 2.3 million times. The real property database is the most heavily accessed section of the county website.

For more information, visit the Oswego County website at www.oswegocounty.com, or call the board of elections at 349-8350 or 349-8351.

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