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North Shore advocates work to get voters to show up on Election Day


As Election Day and the deadline to register to vote on Oct. 9 near, local political activists are urging people to cast their ballot.

“We are encouraging all of our members to text their friends, create social media posts encouraging people to register and vote,” said Stevens Martinez, the founder of Glen Cove Next Generation Democrats. “We’re targeting the Gen Zs through the use of TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram stories.”

Martinez said the Glen Cove Next Generation Democrats are also working with elected officials to have the broadest reach of their message.

And part of that message is to vote. According to the Penn State University Libraries, 138 million Americans voted in the 2016 presidential election, which is 58.1 percent of the eligible voting-population. 

Eric Tuman, of the Glen Head Republican Club, said his members have been working to make sure people show up on Election Day as well, utilizing social media and other methods to spread their message.

“We encourage everybody to vote,” Tuman said. “And we’re hoping they vote the Republican way and it seems to be that in my little area that we have a lot of Republican support.”

Oyster Bay High School alum Arianna Chetram, 20, who is the founder of education reform organization PWRNNOISE, believes that many don’t understand how important their vote is.

Chetram said she’s been in connection with Pace University, which she attends, and the Oyster Bay High School Student Council to get students to register to vote and show up on Election Day.

“It does not matter what party you resister for,” Chetram said. “Because without your power, you basically do not have a power here. That power means so much in this country. You have a say in something. You should be able to use that say. You have a voice.”

Back in August, Chetram said, she was on a Zoom conference with voting organization When We All Vote, which was founded by Michelle Obama, to discuss ways to encourage communities to vote.

“I took their advice,” Chetram said. “I had a list of things I can do. I took that list and basically I have been pulling out a voting table at every protest I was invited to and every event. I had a bunch of forms and I encouraged people by telling them how important their vote is.”

Cynthia Silletti, the Glen Cove Democratic Committee city leader, said that the committee has been very active in supporting the 2020 candidates — U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, State Senator Jim Gaughran and State Assemblyman Charles Lavine, along with national presidential candidate Joe Biden and vice presidential candidate and United State Senator Kamala Harris.

“Political campaigns are different in this Covid climate and we are getting creative in our outreach so as not to endanger the health of our voters and our volunteers, while making sure everyone knows the importance of what is at stake in this election,” Silletti said.

She added that the Glen Cove Democratic Committee has been active on social media, distributed information about early voting through social media, has held numerous committee and volunteer Zoom events to highlight candidates and is participating in phone banks, which is a process used in political campaigns to reach out to registered voters.

The Glen Head Republican Club is endorsing President Donald Trump, George Devolder-Santos for Congress, Edmund Smyth for New York State Senate and Andrew Monteleone for New York State Assembly.