Rochester Interfaith Partners Statement on Election Season – 11.3.2020


Today and every day we believe that, as a nation, the United States draws strength from our diversity, from treating each other with dignity and kindness, and from our steadfast commitment to our shared values of inclusion and equality for all. We, the undersigned interfaith partners, extend our hands to each and every member of our community in this time of great uncertainty. We commit ourselves to kindness, love, and compassion, and stand for the peace and wellbeing of our community. We will work together to set a standard of thoughtful and just discourse, to oppose violence, and to encourage peaceful engagement in the democratic process. We ask everyone to be patient and kind as we await the results of the election, and to seek support in our community, in our faith leaders, and in each other. We dedicate ourselves to sustaining and carrying out these ideals and principles in both our words and our actions at this critical moment in our history, and we invite all in the Rochester community to join us.


Meredith Dragon, CEO, Julie Nusbaum, President, Mona Kolko, Chair of Community Relations, Karen Elam, Director of the Levine Center to End Hate, Carolyn Nussbaum, Co-Chair of the Levine Center to End Hate, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester; Rabbi Avi Kilimnick, Congregation Beth Sholom; Alan Frishman, Temple Sinai; Alan Katz, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Sinai; Arshad Rahman, Islamic Center of Rochester; Barry Swan, Beth Haskalah, the Rochester Society for Humanistic Judaism; Board of Directors, GRCC Faith in Action; Eleanor Lewin, Temple B'rith Kodesh; Gail Ferraioli, Temple Sinai; Harris Honickman, President, Congregation Beth Hamedresh-Beth Israel; Hava Leipzig Holzhauer, JD, Executive Director, Konar Center for Tolerance and Jewish Studies at Nazareth College; Jonathan Rubin, President, Temple Emanuel; Joseph Kelly, Professor Emeritus, Nazareth College of Rochester; Joy Bergfalk, Coffee Connection/Project Empower; Margot VanEtten, St. Monica's Catholic Church; Michael Kaufman, President, Temple B’rith Kodesh; Muhammad Shafiq, Executive Director and IIIT Chair, Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue at Nazareth College; Natasha Sodhi, Gurdwara of Rochester; Nathan (Neil) Jaschik, Past President, Interfaith Alliance of Rochester; Rabbi Avi Mammon, Congregation Light of Israel; Rabbi Debbi Till, Temple Sinai; Rabbi Peter Stein and Rabbi Rochelle Tulik, Temple B'rith Kodesh; Rashid Muhammad, Islamic Center of Rochester; Rev. Cheryl Frank, Greece Baptist Church; Rev. Debbie Grohman, First Presbyterian Church, Ontario Center; Rev. Dr. Stephen Cady, Asbury First United Methodist Church; Rev. Dr. William Huston Wilkinson, Center for the Welcoming Way, Inc.; Rev. Ryan W Henderson, Associate Conference Minister, New York Conference of the United Church of Christ; Rev. Shari Halliday-Quan, First Unitarian Church of Rochester; Ruth Steinberg, President, Temple Beth Am; Sanjay Mathur, Hindu Temple of Rochester; Sr. Susan E. Nowak, Professor of Religious Studies, William H. Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies, Nazareth College; Sue Kochan, Dharma Refuge; The Rev. Dr. C. Denise Yarbrough, University of Rochester, Interfaith Chapel; The Rev. Robert Picken, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; Wendy Fambro, Immanuel Baptist Church of Rochester; Hermann Vogelstein; Rochester Area Synagogue Presidents' Council; Hillel at the University of Rochester; Hillel at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Let's Vote Safely!

As a part of our Community Relations work at the Jewish Federation, we embrace the opportunity to engage with our political system as a tool for pursuing justice and repairing the world. We value the opportunity and protect the right to say "Hineini", "Here I am!", and to let our voices be heard. This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to vote by mail or to vote safely in person. 

Scroll below for everything you need to know

Important Dates


  • October 9 - Last day to postmark voter registration application in time for November election 
  • October 14 - Last day Board of Elections can receive voter registration application in time for November Elections 
  • November 3 - Election Day (2020 Presidential Election) 

Register to Vote

Are you already registered to vote? If so, you can skip this section. If not, please read below.  


While the deadline to register to vote in the June elections has passed, you can still register to vote in the November 3rd general election. Applications must be postmarked no later than October 9, 2020 and received by a Board of Elections no later than October 14, 2020 to be eligible to vote in the General Election. You can find more information at

Absentee Voting (voting by mail) for 2020 Election


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no-excuse absentee voting has been instituted state-wide in New York to allow individuals to vote safely from home. The procedure for this process is simple: 


  1. If you are registered to vote, you should have received your Absentee Voter application from your County Board of Elections. To check the status of your voter registration, visit https://voterlookup.elections.ny.govIf you have not received your Absentee Voter application but are registered in your county, call the Monroe County Board of Elections at (585)753-1550.  

Voting in Person


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person voting remains an option, and will be executed safely by the Board of Elections. There are two ways to participate in in-person voting: 


  1. Early voting will take place at different times over the course of 9 days (June 13 to June 21) in Monroe county. You can read more about early voting, including locations, dates, and times of early voting facilities by visiting
  2. Election day voting will take place on June 23. To ensure safe voting, you will be assigned to one polling location, and will receive that information in a letter from the Board of Elections in the weeks before the election. If you do not receive a letter with your assigned polling location, please call the Board of Elections at (585)753-1550. In-person voting will be conducted through Polling Pads, as well as on paper ballots if requested. 


To help maintain safe voting practices for yourself and others, please wear a mask to your polling location. Maintain safe social distance and wash and sanitize your hands before and after voting.  


Remember that a vote at a polling location overrides an absentee ballot. 



The free Monroe County Board of Elections Online Voter Application tool is a useful site for various needs. Check to see if you're registered, find your polling site, apply for an absentee ballot and learn more about the candidates in your district by using this quick and easy tool.

Visit Monroe County's official website for more information.

Using the Voting Machine


Monroe County uses the ImageCast voting machine that is equipped to accommodate voters with disabilities. These are the steps you will take to cast your ballot:


  • After signing in, an Inspector will give you a preprinted ballot containing all of the candidate's names

  • You will be directed to a privacy booth where you will mark your ballot with a special pen

  • After being marked, place your ballot into a privacy sleeve and take it to the voting machine

  • Insert your marked paper ballot into the voting machine to cast your vote

  • Return the privacy sleeve to one of the Inspectors at the polling site


Once the above steps are complete, you have sucessfully cast your ballot!


If you experience any trouble, an Inspector at your polling site will be happy to show you how to use the voting machine.

Click here for more information regarding the voting machine.

Click here for a video demonstration.


Experiencing Problems on Election Day?


Call one of these hotlines:

1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

Know Your Candidates


Check out BallotReady at or visit, click on Find What’s on Your Ballot, and enter your address for an explanation of every candidate and referendum on your ballot before you vote. 


For a full list of Monroe County candidates for public office, click here: 


Be sure to mark your ballot correctly! In some elections, a candidate may be listed under more than one party. DO NOT fill in more than one oval for the same candidate! 

Get Involved!


Are you looking for ways to get involved and help others vote?


Join us as we RECLAIM OUR VOTE! 


We may not be able to go out, but we can still speak up! As a collaboration between the Jewish Federation, First Universalist, First Unitarian, and RocACTS, we are excited to invite you to join us this coming week as we launch our effort for voter inclusion across the United States. We are phone banking with Reclaim Our Vote, an organization doing work around voter disenfranchisement nationwide in communities of color, and we need YOUR voice to help those who have been unjustly removed from voter rolls.  


This is an ongoing effort! While this is our first phone banking orientation, it will not be our last. Following the orientation, we will continue to schedule regular check-in calls to discuss our work, share our experiences, and communicate best practices!

Frequently Asked Questions




Be sure to bring your ID when voting for the first time. After voting for the first time, you do not need to bring anything with you. However, Monroe County suggests bringing your license in case the inspectors needs to verify your identification in the event of a name change or if your signature is not on file.


You MUST wear a face mask to protect yourself and others.




According to Monroe County's official website:

"When you enter the polling site, you will see tables and voting machines for one or more election districts. At the table for your Election District you will be asked to sign next to a copy of your original signature on an alphabetically digitized poll list."


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and safe voting practices, you can expect a longer than normal wait at polling locations.





Once you have recieved your assigned polling location, if your letter does not share accessability information you can contact Monroe county Board of Elections or call (585)753-1550 to confrim your location is accessible.



You can help by encouraging others to vote and by sharing this page to social media and with friends and family! You can also help by registering voters.



Additional Resources


For more information, voter education, and candidate forums, check out:


League of Women Voters, Rochester -  

League of Women Voters, National - 

National Council of Jewish Women, Rochester - 

Federal Election Commission - 

NYS Board of Elections - 

Federal Voting Assistance Program -