Posts Tagged ‘primaries’

Ginnie Farrell, my candidate for the Albany common council

Primary voting day in the state of New York is usually on the second Tuesday of September. That is unless it lands on September 11, in which case it is moved to Thursday, September 13, the theory being that 9/11 is a time to be set aside.

But what should be more appropriate than to exercise the franchise? 11 September 2001 was primary day, ultimately postponed. I think we ought to take it back, not “let the terrorists win,” as it it were.

Once again I get to kvetch about the dual standard of voting in New York State. In New York City, Long Island, some other downstate counties and in Erie County (Buffalo) the polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., the longest period in the country. But in the rest of the state, the polls are only open from noon to 9 p.m., the shortest time in the country, as of 2016, when I last paid attention to such things nationally.

This year is less problematic than next year, when the statewide races, such as governor, attorney general and comptroller are on the ballot, giving voters downstate a significant advantage. But I hate it EVERY year. In November, I always vote before 6:15 a.m. When the school/library polls open at 7 a.m. each May, I’m one of the first in line.

When the polls don’t open until midday, I have to wait until after work to cast my ballot. And with very competitive races on the Democratic side – the only side that matters, unfortunately, in a one-party city – there may be long lines. I get to vote for county coroner, and citywide races for mayor, judge and president of the common council, plus a race for my common council member.

Or so I hope there are lines. I see on Facebook a lot of comments each primary day about the turnout, and some voter response HAS been historically low. In the recent primary race of the Dans for county executive, the Democratic turnout was well under 25%. I theorized at the time that it was because no one knew what the county executive actually did.

I told my friend Dan (different Dan) that I would use his article about the mayoral election to justify my lawn sign for the incumbent.

This November, I will vote for Ben Sturges for coroner. He’s on the ballot tomorrow on the Democratic line. But even if he loses that party designation, he’ll still be on the ballot as the Working Families Party designee. And if you didn’t find that too complicated, you must be from New York.

I contacted the Albany County Board of Elections on July 20 and received a list of all the folks who filed the petitions to vie for office this year. Of course, some are running unopposed in their respective parties.

But there will be some contested races on Primary Day, September 12. The primaries are closed in New York State, which means that only the people registered in the party will vote in that race.

And the deadline for changing party affiliation has long since passed. In fact, if you are an already registered voter in NYS who wants to vote in the 2018 primaries, you need to change enrollment by October 13, 2017!

People can still submit independent nominating petitions in August.

Albany Chief City Auditor

Glen P. Casey (D, I)
Susan A. Rizzo (D, WF)

No matter who wins the Democratic primary, the other candidate will still be on the ballot November 7.

Albany County Clerk

Bruce A. Hidley (D, C, I)
Howard M. Koff (R)

Albany County Coroner (2 positions)

Rahmar J. Lockridge (D)
Paul L. Marra (D, C)
Francis M. Simmons (D)
Charles M. Smoot (D)
Scott A. Snide (R, C, I, Ref)
Benjamin M. Sturges 3D (D, WF)

Why on earth is there such interest in a coroner’s race? Why is this an elected position at all?

City of Albany City Court Judge (3 positions)

Michael S. Barone (D)
Sherri J. Brooks (D)
Lavonda S. Collins (D)
Helena M. Heath (D, I)
James E. Long (D, WF, I)
John J. Reilly (D, WF)
Holly A. Trexler (D, WF, I)

The cross-endorsements might matter to some folks.

City of Albany Mayor

Frank J. Commisso Jr. (D, I)
Bryan J. Jimenez (G)
Carolyn McLaughlin (D)
Daniel J. Plaat (G)
Katherine M. Sheehan (D, WF, WE)
Joseph P. Sullivan (C)

The Democratic primary is going to get only nastier, I fear.

Then there were all the Albany Common Council races, which would take too long to list here. But my district has a primary race for the first time in my memory.

City of Albany Pres. Common Council

Corey L. Ellis (D, WF)
Christopher Higgins (D)
Mark A. Robinson (D)

City of Albany Treasurer

Darius Shahinfur (D, WF, I)
Roberta Sims (R, C, Ref)

There are also races in a half dozen towns in the county.

The designations are actual parties in New York State, based on the success of its candidate in the last gubernatorial election, in 2014. Often, but not always, it is the Democrat or Republican who is cross-endorsed. C is for Conservative, WF for Working Families, I is for Independence, WR is Women’s Equality, R is for Reform.

The Independence Party is one reason why I groan when someone identifies themselves as a “registered independent.” What they usually mean is they are not enrolled in a political party at all, which means they CANNOT vote in the primary in New York State.

The Women’s Equality Party is some weird invention of Governor Andrew Cuomo that’s only been around since 2014.

I’m a registered Democrat in the city of Albany because that’s where the contests are, and I don’t want to disenfranchise myself. It’s likely, OK, REALLY likely, although not certain, that the Democratic nominee will win in November, based on historic precedent.

Someone in my office building asked me to explain what had taken place in the New York primaries on April 13. I said it was complicated, and was willing to let it go.

But then the 2political podcast, featuring Arthur in Auckland, New Zealand, and Jason, in Washington, DC, gave it a go, and I thought I would do the same. For their benefit, I should note that the Republicans in this state only list the candidates, four in my Congressional District: Cruz, Kasich, Trump, and Ben Carson, who had dropped out of the race.
Primary ballot
Democrats list the two candidates, Clinton and Sanders Read the rest of this entry »

vote-button-3A grumpy person’s guide to the Presidential primary in New York:

1. If you’re not enrolled in a political party (Democratic or Republican), you can’t vote, because they are closed primaries. New York has, arguably, the most restrictive primary voting regulations in the country. New voters had to enroll in a party by March 25, but previously registered folks would have had to have switched their party affiliation Read the rest of this entry »

voting.womanNew York is a closed primary state, which means only people registered to vote and enrolled in a political party can participate in the April 19 New York presidential primary for the Democrats and the Republicans. Check your party affiliation, and polling location, online by going to this state Board of Elections site.

I am registered, and enrolled!

If you were enrolled in a party, or no party, last year, it’s too late to change your party designation to vote on April 19. That deadline was October 9, 2015, which, I believe, was the earliest threshold in the country. Brand-new voters could register and enroll, but that deadline (March 25) has passed as well.

Anecdotal reports from New York State, as in other states, suggest that some voter registration records have gone from active to inactive, or from enrolled in a political party to nonenrolled. If your party affiliation was dropped or became inactive through the online registration process, check with your local board.

Upcoming deadlines:
April 12 – Last day to postmark an application or letter of application by mail for an absentee ballot.
April 18 – Last day to apply in-person for an absentee ballot
April 18 – Last day to postmark absentee ballot. It must be received by the local board of elections no later than April 26.
April 19 – Last day to deliver absentee ballot in-person to local board of elections.

Here’s a voters’ Bill of Rights. It notes: “Whenever your name does not appear in the official poll book, you will be offered an affidavit ballot.”

In New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Erie, POLLS OPEN AT 6 AM – CLOSE AT 9 PM. In all other counties, POLLS OPEN AT 12 NOON and CLOSE AT 9 PM, which I hate, because I like voting first thing in the morning.

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