Your Library—Your Vote

On Election Day, Town of Chatham voters will have an opportunity to vote on a referendum to increase annual funding for the North Chatham Library Free Library by $35,000. This will be the first increase in 18 years and will help preserve the library’s many free services to the community. The referendum will appear on the back of the ballot. For a taxpayer whose home is now assessed at $300,000, the increase would be about $11 a year, in other words 22¢ a week.

If passed, this will be the first increase in 18 years.

For taxpayers whose home is assessed at $300,000, the total increase would be about $11/year or 22¢/week.

FAQs About The Referendum

What is the referendum?

It is a proposition on the election ballot in November that allows taxpayers to designate a specific amount of tax dollars for the library. If approved, the Town of Chatham will fund the library each year at the newly approved level, starting in 2023.

How much is the North Chatham Library asking for?

We are asking for an increase of $35,000 to add to the current funding level of $65,000 for a total annual appropriation of $100,000. This level of funding would bring us more in line with other local libraries of our size.

How will this vote affect my taxes?

The Town of Chatham has recently undertaken a property value reassessment process. While the assessed valuation of your home may have increased, the total dollars appropriated to the library is a fixed amount so the tax rate per $100,000 will have gone down.

If your property is now valued at $300,000, you would be paying approximately $18.75 before the referendum is considered and approximately $30 if the referendum is approved. That increase is only 22 cents a week.

Why is this increase necessary?

The last increase to library funding in our town was in 2004. Library expenses have increased significantly over the past 18 years. Budgetary constraints have affected our ability to hire personnel and expand our hours of service, as well as reduced the money available to update the collections. It’s time for the community to consider an additional investment in the library.

What does the library’s budget go towards?

Most of our budget goes towards basic operating costs: personnel costs to keep the library open, building maintenance and other expenditures to meet our patrons’ growing demands. In addition to our print collection, we have significantly expanded the amount of digital material available to patrons, in the form of videos, online collections and streaming services. These electronic formats provide access to far more resources, but they are also more expensive than print. Our WiFi and computers are heavily used by the community, and usage increased during COVID. In a typical year, we serve as a meeting place for community groups and events, offering over 100 programs and gatherings for adults (online and in-person), as well as reading circles and summer activities for children.

Why doesn’t the library seek more grants & donations and hold fundraisers instead of increasing taxes?

The library board and staff work hard to write grants and are very grateful for the donations we receive to meet community demand for services. However, the grants and donations are not predictable revenue streams and often come with restrictions that fall outside of general operating expenses. For the bulk of our operating costs, the library needs stable funding to provide the level of service that our community deserves.

I live in the Village of Chatham and support the Chatham Public Library. Why pay for North Chatham Library, too?

The North Chatham Library complements the Chatham Public Library, with additional programming and resources available to all residents of the Town of Chatham.

I don’t even use the library, so why should I pay for it?

Libraries are a public good. A strong library enhances the quality of life for all town residents by serving as a community center and by offering opportunities for life-long learning. Libraries contribute to student success, social cohesion, and digital inclusion — essential elements to a healthy and vibrant community.
Flip the ballot over illustration

Reminder: Flip the ballot over to vote on the referendum.

Please visit

We welcome you to come and see how the library has evolved. You can use our Wifi and computers for free or send faxes at a modest charge. You may be surprised to learn that many library resources can be accessed from your own home if you have a library card: eBooks, eMagazines, movies, on-line courses and even museum passes. We hope you’ll also check us out in person by participating in one of the many programs we provide.

Details About the Election

ELECTION DAY: Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Voter Registration Deadlines

  • By Mail: postmarked no later than October 14, 2022 and received by the Board of Elections (BOE) no later than October 19, 2022
  • In Person: October 14, 2022
  • Change of Address: Received by BOE by October 19, 2022

Election Day--November 8—Designated Poll Sites

Polls will be open from 6:00am-9:00pm

  • Chatham Town Hall: Chatham District 1
  • Mary E. Dardess Elementary School: Chatham Districts 2 & 5
  • Tri-Village Fire Department: Chatham Districts 3, 4 & 6

Early Voting

Begins on Saturday, October 29 and run through Sunday, November 6, 2022.

Town of Chatham registered voters can vote at the early voting site located at 401 State Street, Hudson, NY 12534, OR at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building located at 3211 Church Street, Valatie, NY 12184.

Early Voting Hours (for both sites):

  • Saturday, October 29: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Sunday, October 30: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Monday, October 31: Noon-8:00pm
  • Tuesday, November 1: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Wednesday, November 2: Noon-8:00pm
  • Thursday, November 3: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Friday, November 4: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday, November 5: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Sunday, November 6: 9:00am-5:00pm

Absentee Ballots

  • October 24: Last day by which mailed or online applications will be received by BOE. Online applications can be made via the State Portal.
  • November 7: Last day to apply in person
  • November 8: Last day to postmark ballot, which must be received by November 15. 

Military Voter Ballots by November 21

Major Change in Absentee Voting for 2022

A new law has been enacted by the State of New York that is a major change for voters who may want to vote by absentee ballot.

  • Beginning now (2022), a voter who has been issued an absentee ballot MAY NOT CAST A BALLOT ON THE VOTING MACHINE, either at Early Voting or on Election Day.
  • A voter who has been issued an absentee ballot IS permitted to vote by AFFIDAVIT ballot at Early Voting or on Election Day.
  • This is the case regardless of whether the voter actually returns the absentee ballot. It is the ISSUING of the absentee ballot that triggers this restriction, not the return of the absentee ballot itself.
  • The voter’s affidavit ballot will be counted if the Board of Elections has not received an absentee ballot from the voter and the voter is otherwise qualified. If, at the time the Board reviews affidavit ballots, the Board of Elections has received both an affidavit ballot and an absentee ballot from the voter, the absentee ballot will be counted and the affidavit ballot will not be.
  • In summary, once you submit an APPLICATION for an absentee ballot, you should plan to vote either by ABSENTEE ballot or by AFFIDAVIT ballot (if you go to Early Voting or to your Election Day polling place). Once an absentee ballot is issued to you, you may not cast your ballot on the voting machine.

Application Deadlines for Absentee Ballots Are Earlier This Year

Applications for absentee ballots that are submitted to the Board of Elections by mail or via the State portal must be received by the Board of Elections at least fifteen (15) days ahead of the election.

After this 15-day cutoff, only applications for absentee ballots that are PERSONALLY delivered to the Board of Elections can be accepted. Personally delivered applications for absentee ballots may be brought to the Board of Elections as late as the day before the election. The Board, upon such personal delivery of the application, will then give the ballot to the voter or to the designated agent, but will not mail out a ballot.

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