There are four elections on August 23 for local voters to be concerned with, three for congressional seats and for a State Senate seat.
But there is much confusion because two of those congressional seat elections feature current Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan. One is a primary election and one is a special election to fill a vacant seat.
So, herewith is an attempt to stave off such confusion and outline what is happening.
First, we have a Special Election in what we’ll call the Old 19th District. This one is to fill the seat vacated earlier this year by Antonio Delgado. The winner of this election will serve in the seat only until January 1, 2023, when new district winners take their seats. The new districts, as we’ll see in a moment, cover different territories than their Old District namesakes.
This special election will square off the county executives — Democrat and Working Families Ulster exec Pat Ryan versus Republican-Conservative Dutchess exec Marcus Molinaro.
The Old 19th contains all of Ulster County, Greene, Columbia, Schoharie, Otsego, Delaware, Sullivan, and large parts of Dutchess, part of Rensselaer, a part of Montgomery counties. If you are a registered voter of any party (or no party) in any of those areas you may vote in this election.
Next is a primary election that also features Ulster exec Ryan. It is a Democratic Primary for a line on the November ballot to run for a congressional seat in the new 18thDistrict. (We digress for a moment here — we have new districts every ten years, that are based on census figures and however much influence political parties can wield. This year, because of alleged gerrymandering, a court appointed a special master to draw the lines. The old districts disappear into history’s lower pocket on January 1.)
This primary features Ryan squaring off with two others: Aisha Mills and Moses R. Mugulusi. We’ll have more on these candidates in the coming week or two until the elections. Winner gets the Democratic line in the November election for congress.
The new 18th District includes the entire City of Kingston, Marbletown; Rosendale; Esopus; Rochester; New Paltz; Lloyd; Gardiner; Shawangunk; Plattekill; Marlborough; part of Wawarsing; all of Orange County and all of Dutchess County.
Only Democrats may vote in this election. If you live in any of the above locations and are a registered Democrat, you are eligible to cast a ballot in this primary.
Hopefully it is now clear that yes, Ryan can run in two elections on the same day because the seats he seeks will not overlap. The special election seat disappears on January 1, when he would hope to occupy the new 18th district seat created by the redistricting, providing he wins the primary and the November general election.
The third election we have to talk about is another Democratic Primary, this one in the New 19th district for the congressional seat created there. It features Jamie Cheney versus Josh Riley, both of whom have begun filling mailboxes with their introductory literature. The winner of this Democratic primary will then run in November against Republican Dutchess exec Marcus Molinaro (remember him from election No. 1 above?) who has no challenger in the GOP, thus already holds the line with no need for a primary. Winner in November takes the newly created seat.
The new 19th congressional district sprawls, consisting of Denning; Hardenburgh; Shandaken; Olive; Woodstock; Saugerties; Town of Kingston; Hurley; Town of Ulster; Part of Wawarsing; and the counties of Columbia; Greene; Delaware; Sullivan; Part of Otsego; Chenango; Broome; Cortland; Tioga and Tompkins.
Only Democrats living in those areas may vote in this primary.
And finally, on August 23, here’s one for the Republicans among us. There is a primary election for the Republican line on the ballot for the 51st State Senate seat pitting former Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman Terry Bernardo against Senator Peter Oberacker.
The 51st in Ulster County consists of Hardenburgh; Denning; Olive; Marbletown;
Rochester; Wawarsing; Gardiner and Shawangunk. It also includes Delaware, Broome, Schoharie, Otsego, and parts of Chenango. If you live in any of those areas and are a registered Republican, you may vote in this primary election.
If we’ve said ‘parts of’ your town or county are eligible to vote in an election and you are unsure of your district, please call your board of elections. In Ulster County, that’s 845-334-5470.
All polling sites in Ulster County will be open 6 a.m.-9 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23.
Early voting, absentee ballots
Early voting for the August 23rd Primary & Special Election will begin on Saturday, August 13th and end on Sunday, August 21st. Now before every election event, any eligible registered voter will have the ability to vote early at any convenient Early Voting Center. When you get to the Early Voting location, you will check in to vote, receive your ballot and vote as in any other election. Voting during Early Voting is the same as election day, but if you do decide to vote early you are not eligible to vote on election day.
Early voting sites are:
American Legion, 26-28 Mountain Road, Shokan, NY 12481
Kingston High School, 403 Broadway Kingston, NY 12401
Ellenville Public Library, 40 Center Street, Ellenville, NY 12428
New Paltz Community Center, 3 Veterans Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561
Marlborough Town Hall, 21 Milton Turnpike, Milton, NY 12547
Saugerties Senior Center, 207 Market Street, Saugerties, NY 12477.
Early voting hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., August 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 21; and noon-8 p.m. on August 16 and August 18.
For absentee ballotsor for more information, see elections.ulstercountyny.gov, write
email@example.com, or call 845-334-5470.