Residents in the Hempstead school district have until Friday afternoon to register with the Nassau County Board of Elections to vote in the Oct. 28 special board election in which Betty Cross and Maribel Touré are candidates.
The board's office, on the fifth floor at 240 Old Country Rd. in Mineola, is open from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Those who register also will be qualified to vote in the Nov. 4 general election.
Residents also can register for the special election with school district clerk Patricia Wright at her office on Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 185 Peninsula Blvd. in Hempstead.
The registration in the district clerk's office will not qualify a resident to vote on Nov. 4, district officials said.
The term of the school board seat ends June 30, 2015.
The state attorney general's Civil Rights Bureau is monitoring the special election due to questions that were raised about the validity of the May 20 election, in which Cross, 68, was found to have beaten Touré, 52, by a handful of absentee ballots.
Touré and her attorney, Frederick K. Brewington, petitioned state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. in June to examine the election. King removed Cross from her post in August after finding that Wright failed to maintain a list of absentee voters for public inspection on voting day.
The commissioner said the breach "demonstrates a degree of laxity in the handling of absentee ballots that threatened the integrity of the election."
Voters who are ill or cannot get to the polling site to cast their ballots on Oct. 28 may submit absentee ballot applications by mail to the district clerk no later than Oct. 21, officials said.
Absentee ballot applications also can be submitted in person at the district clerk's office through 4 p.m. on Oct. 27.
Such ballots will be issued only after the application is approved by Wright and only will be given to the voter, or a person designated by the voter, that is named on the application, officials said.
On the day of the election, written materials will be available in English and Spanish, and translators will be on site. Touré and her camp had alleged that Spanish speakers were disenfranchised during the May vote.
The election will be held at Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School. Voting hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Attorneys and staff from the Civil Rights Bureau are monitoring the proceedings with a special focus on issues faced by minority voters, as well as those with limited English proficiency and with disabilities, district officials said.Brewington said he hopes the race is conducted fairly and that King's wishes are met.
"We will be working hard to make sure that this election does not turn out to be the fiasco the last one was," he said, adding that the Civil Rights Bureau is a "welcomed partner" in that effort.
Melissa Grace, a spokesman for the bureau, said the attorney general's office "is supportive of efforts to ensure that voters are fully informed and able to freely participate in the electoral process."