Thursday’s primary elections determine fall ballot choices
GHENT—First: next week’s state and local primary election is on Thursday, September 13 (not the usual Tuesday). Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m.
The state legislature changed the weekday because “they don’t like to hold an election on 9/11,” county Democratic Commissioner of Elections Virginia Martin said this week, adding that this year September 11 is also Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. “This has happened before,” she said. “A few years ago the primary was on September 13.”
Second: while many of the candidates are primarying for the Democratic line on the November 6 ballot, September 13 is also a primary for voters enrolled in the Green, Independence, Women’s Equality and Reform parties. Depending on the office, those voters can choose among candidates or use the Opportunity to Ballot (write in).
“Given that there’s a statewide primary for the Democratic and Reform Parties,” said Ms. Martin, “essentially two-thirds of the registered voters in Columbia County are affected by this primary.”
The Reform Party, she explained, allows anyone who is enrolled in the Reform Party and also registered voters who are not enrolled in the seven recognized parties in the state, to vote the Reform line.
For example, enrolled Republicans cannot vote the Reform line (and they do not have a primary on September 13), but voters enrolled in parties no longer recognized by the state can: members of the Liberal, Libertarian or Right to Life Parties, for example.
For a party to appear on the state ballot, it must have run a candidate for governor four years ago and drawn at least 50,000 votes for that candidate.
In the September 13 Democratic primary—open only to enrolled Democrats—the following candidates are running:
• Incumbent Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (Mt. Kisco, andrewcuomo.com), who seeks a third four-year term, is challenged by actor and activist Cynthia E. Nixon (Manhattan, cynthiafornewyork.com).
• Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Kathy C. Hochul (Buffalo, kathyhochul.com) has served in the post since 2015. Her opponent in the Primary is Jumaane Williams (Brooklyn, jumaanewilliams.com), who is in his third four-year term on the New York City Council
• Four candidates for attorney general: Sean Patrick Maloney (Cold Spring, maloneyfornewyork.com), Congress member from District 18 in the Hudson Valley; Letitia A. “Tish” James, (Brooklyn, tishjames2018.com), serving her second term as Public Advocate for the City of New York; Leecia R. Eve (Manhattan, leeciaeve.com) a lawyer and vice president for government affairs for Verizon for NY, NJ and CT; and Zephyr Teachout (Staatsburgh, zephyrforny.com), a law professor and Constitutional expert
• Two candidates for member of Assembly in the 107th District, Tistrya G. Houghtling (Canaan, Town of New Lebanon, tistryaforassembly.com), town clerk of New Lebanon; and Don Boyajian (Cambridge, don2018.com), a municipal and environmental attorney.
In the Green Party Primary, open only to enrolled Green Party members, voters have an Opportunity to Ballot (write in) for one candidate for Member of Assembly in the 107th Assembly District.
In the Independence Party Primary, open only to enrolled Independence Party members:
• Two candidates for Member of Assembly in the 106th District: William G. Truitt (Hyde Park, truittforny.com), a member of the Dutchess County Legislature and business assistant at Bridge View Excavation, Inc.; and Didi Barrett (Claverack, didibarrett.com), who seeks her fourth two-year term in the post
• Opportunities to Ballot (write in) for two members of the party’s County Committee for Greenport District 2
• Two members of County Committee for Greenport District 3, Edward F. Nabozny (Greenport, former supervisor) and an Opportunity to Ballot (write in)
Women’s Equality Party
In the Women’s Equality Party Primary, open only to members of the Women’s Equality Party, Member of Assembly in the 106th District: Ms. Barrett or Opportunity to Ballot (write in).
In the Reform Party Primary, open only to enrolled Reform Party members and registered voters not enrolled in the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Green, Working Families, Independence or Women’s Equality Parties:
Three candidates for attorney general: Nancy B. Sliwa (Manhattan), Mike Diederich (Stony Point) and Christopher B. Garvey (Amityville), none of whom had provided campaign websites to the NYS Board of Elections at press time. Mr. Diederich is a lawyer and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. Garvey is a lawyer.
Voters not sure of their registration or enrollment status can contact the Columbia County Board of Elections, 518-828-3115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The board’s website, https://sites.google.com/a/columbiacountyny.com/elections/home-1, has information on absentee ballots and other aspects of the election process as well as sample ballots.