2004-11-19 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23 rd A.D. Part B

The election of 2004 was quite unique, especially in our 23 A.D. There were long lines, with many confused voters who did not know where to go. Some did not remember their last voting place and thought they could walk in and register. Others thought they could vote at any voting place.

We would like to set the record straight on rules and regulations for voting. In order to vote in primary and general elections one must be registered at least 30 days prior to the election. In order to vote in the primary, one must be enrolled in that party.

 Some people think that once they have registered, they are registered for life. The rule of thumb is that after a presidential election, or every four years, names of those who have not voted will be deleted. If you move, you are required to register at the new address. If you move just before an election you can go back and vote at the old address, although some might question its legality.

While the idea of voting at any convenient location sounds good, it is not logical or feasible. The problem is that there are different local candidates running in each area. We met one lady who walked into a voting place in Howard Beach near her work site. She lived on Long Island. She desperately wanted to get her vote for president in. Because it was late in the day she was not able to get to her home and cast her vote.

Many people filled out provisional ballots because they were not in the right Election District. Unfortunately those ballots were not counted.

A number of newly registered voters were told that their names were not in the buff card signature book, although they had received a yellow card from the Board of Elections. I urge everyone who can, to register through the Good Government Regular Democratic Club and myself. We personally clock the registration forms in at the Board of Elections and have copies made for our records.

We wish to thank Chief Clerk Barbara Connachio and her staff at the Queens Board of Elections for their professional expertise, being available to take calls on Election Day, and for correcting problems that occurred. Once again if anyone needs to register to vote for next year we are available to assist you.

One of the things I would like to see in the future is a card similar to an ATM card that could be used at bank ATMs. After swiping the card, a screen with all the candidates in your district would appear. This would allow more people to vote no matter where they are on Election Day,

Last Sunday evening, we attended the gala opening of the Belle Harbor Steak and Seafood Restaurant on Beach 116 Street. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful. This quaint 65- seat restaurant has wonderful food, great atmosphere and wonderful service. We wish the owners and their staff great success. You add class and choice in our community.

Congratulations to the newly elected board members and officers at Dayton Beach Park. The new board members are Joanne Smith, Maralyn Kaufman, Delores Lyons, Mary Reed and Bruce Jacobs. Elected, as president, was Joanne Smith, vice president Bruce Jacobs, Maralyn Kaufman secretary, Ann Lyons treasurer, and Delores Lyons assistant treasurer. We will make ourself available to assist you in any way we can. Congratulations. We know you shall do a good job.

We are saddened by the death of the father of the police captain of the 100th precinct. Although we did not know Captain Piekarsky’s father personally, it is quite obvious that his father and mother instilled the proper values and professional attitude he shows as the captain of this precinct.

My deepest sympathy to the captain and his family.

We are also saddened by the death of one of Rockaway’s sweetest and kindest women, Helen Tolan. She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Helen was one of the kindest, sweetest and most friendly persons you could meet. She was always active in the community. Just last month she was nominated and named one of the Deputy Grand Marshals of the 2005 Queens St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

My heart goes out to the family. We know Helen must be a special angel. God must have a specific task for Helen to assist with to take her in the prime of her life. My deepest sympathy to the family.

During these struggling times, for many, the cold weather and cost of heating can cause people to freeze and have pipes burst in their homes. The Home Energy Assistance Project, HEAP, is available for anyone who meets specific income requirements. For further information and applications call (212) 442-1000 Press 1.  For anyone under 60 call the Human Resources Info line at (877) 472-8411.

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