For the second time this summer, New Yorkers will cast their votes Tuesday in a primary election, thanks to a drawn-out redistricting process that pushed congressional and state Senate primaries to August.
The primaries for governor, lieutenant governor and members of the state Assembly took place on June 28. Now, congressional and state Senate representatives will face off in myriad districts across the state.
Most congressional districts up for grabs are in Central and Northern New York and the Hudson Valley, with the exception of the 23rd District, which stretches along the western edge of the Southern Tier.
Voters must be registered with a party to participate in that party’s primary election.
Early voting for the primaries started on Saturday, Aug. 13.
The general election is on Nov. 8, where New Yorkers will vote on a final slate of officials who made it through the Democratic and Republican primaries.
Here’s what you need to know about voting in the primaries.
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Why is there an August primary?
Because New York’s congressional and Senate district maps were shuffled and then reshuffled earlier this year, as elected officials and others argued over whether they constituted a gerrymander. The final maps were delivered so late in the election cycle that a judge decided to delay the primary for those seats.
An independent commission meant to hash out the maps effectively handed the job to the Democratic-controlled Legislature, which then passed a set of maps in February that were widely seen as giving Democrats an edge going into November’s midterms.
A Steuben County judge struck down those maps and the state’s highest court later upheld the main tenets of his decision, putting the map drawing duties into the hands of a special master, Jonathan Cervas. Cervas released the final congressional and Senate maps in late May.
The final maps had some confounding consequences, such as forcing several longtime congressional representatives to face off in the same district or making candidates choose whether to continue campaigning in a district they don’t live in.
To complicate matters further, two congressional incumbents resigned from their posts this year — including now-Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, who previously represented the 19th District in the Hudson Valley — forcing special elections to fill their seats. Those elections will take place on Tuesday, alongside the primaries.
Can I still register to vote in the August primary?
The registration deadline has passed for the August primary, but you can still register to vote in time for the general election.
A mailed application must be postmarked by Oct. 14 or earlier, and an in-person application must be received by Oct. 14.
You can find more information about how to register at Elections.ny.gov.
Am I eligible to vote in New York?
Here are the qualifications to vote in New York:
You must be a U.S. citizen;
Be 18 or older;
Not be in prison for a felony conviction;
Not claim the right to vote elsewhere;
And not found to be incompetent by a court.
Can I change my party for the Aug. 23 primary?
Yes, you could until Aug. 11, pursuant to a recent court order.
Voters can change their party enrollment online with a valid Department of Motor Vehicles-issued ID or license at Dmv.ny.gov, or by completing a paper registration form and returning it to their County Board of Elections.
Where is my polling place?
You can look up where you are registered to vote, and which polling place you can attend, at voterlookup.elections.ny.gov.
When are polls open?
Polls are open statewide from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23.
Can I vote by absentee ballot?
In order to vote by absentee ballot, you must have qualified for and applied for an absentee ballot prior to Wednesday, Aug. 8.
If you did so, you can mail it in, ensuring it has a postmark no later than Aug. 23, or ensure that it arrives in person at your county Board of Elections office or a polling site in your county no later than 9 p.m. on Aug. 23.
Note that if you applied for an absentee ballot but then decide to vote in-person on the machine at your polling location, you will have to fill out an affidavit ballot, according to a recent New York law.
You can still apply for an absentee ballot for the November general election.
To qualify, you must meet one or more of these criteria:
You are absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
You’re unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19).
You’re unable to appear because you are the primary caregiver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
You’re a resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
You’re in jail or prison for any reason other than a felony conviction. This includes anyone who is awaiting grand jury action, awaiting trial, or serving a sentence for a misdemeanor.
To apply for an absentee ballot, go to Elections.ny.gov.
Who's running in the Aug. 23 primary?
Candidates are running in primaries in multiple revamped congressional districts, out of 26 total districts in New York. (The state used to have 27, but one seat was cut due to lack of population growth between the 2010 and 2020 census.)
Democrats Jamaal Bowman, Catherine Parker and Vedat Gashi will face off in the primary. Bowman is the incumbent in the current 16th District.
In the Hudson Valley, notable Democratic politicians are facing off for control in the 17th District, including Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, currently representing the 18th District, and state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi, representing the Bronx and Westchester. Republicans vying for a spot in the general election include Shoshana David, Charles Falciglia, William Faulkner, Mike Lawler and Jack Schrepel.
In the 18th District, Democrats Aisha Mills, Moses R. Mugulusi and Pat Ryan, the Ulster County Executive, will vie to be on the Democratic ticket in November.
Ryan is also running in a special election on the same day to serve out the four-month remainder of Delgado’s term in the 19th District. Running against Ryan in that special election is Republican Marc Molinaro, the Dutchess County Executive.
Molinaro also plans to run for a full term in the 19th District in November. Democrats looking to face him there include Jamie Cheney and Josh Riley.
In the 20th, Democrats Rostislav Rar and Rep. Paul D. Tonko, an incumbent representing the former 20th District in the Capital region, are running to challenge Republican Liz Joy in November.
Two Democrats are looking for the chance to challenge Rep. Elise Stefanik, the House Republican conference chair, in the North Country’s 21st District this fall — Matt Castelli and Matt Putorti.
Democrats looking to appear on the party line on November's ballot include Francis Conole, Sarah Klee Hood, Chol Majok and Sam Roberts. Republicans include Steven Wells and Brandon Williams.
There’s both a special election and a regular primary election in the 23rd District. Former Rep. Tom Reed resigned his post earlier this year, and Republican Joe Sempolinski and Democrat Max Della Pia will compete to serve the rest of Reed’s term.
Republicans Carl Paladino, a controversial political figure who lost the governor’s seat to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2010, and Nick Langworthy, New York’s Republican Party Chairman, will face off in the regular primary.
A number of state Senate seats are also up for primary elections. To see who is running in your area, go to Vote411.org, where you can look up your ballot based on your address.
Where can I find results?
The unofficial results of the August primary elections will be available after 9 p.m. on Aug. 23 at nyenr.elections.ny.gov.
This article originally appeared on New York State Team: NY Aug. 23 primary: Who's running, what you need to know