The federal primary election on June 26 is very important. That's when Republicans will choose which candidates will represent their party on the November ballot for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
That is, REGISTERED Republicans will choose. If you aren't registered, you can't vote, and you can only vote in a primary if you're registered for that party.
If you still aren't registered and want to vote in this primary, you'd better act fast. You'll need to have it done by this Friday, June 1.
There aren't any contests between members of other parties in our area this time around, but even if you aren't a Republican, this is a good time to register to vote if you haven't already. The Nov. 6 general election, including a huge presidential decision, will come up sooner than you might think, and you don't want to run the risk of putting it off too long.
To register, you must:
-be a U.S. citizen
-be 18 years old by the date of the election
-have lived at your present address at least 30 days
-not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction
-not be judged mentally incompetent by a court
-not claim the right to vote elsewhere.
You can register many different ways, but basically it comes down to getting your hands on a registration form, filling it out and submitting it to your county board of elections. You can do this in person at the county board of elections office, a Department of Motor Vehicles office (including the DMV office in Saranac Lake's Harrietstown Town Hall) or a wide range of state agency offices. Your town office might be able to help, too, or else call the state Board of Elections at 1-800-FOR-VOTE.
You can also download a registration form online; for your convenience, we're attaching a copy to the online version of this editorial.
Here's where you should mail the form, if you can't submit it in person, plus some extra contact information:
-Franklin County Board of Elections, 355 West Main St., Malone, NY 12953
-Essex County Board of Elections, 7551 Court St., P.O. Box 217, Elizabethtown, NY 12932.
Here's what your choices will be on June 26:
-In New York's new 21st Congressional District (what's now the 23rd but now including all of the North Country), Republican voters will decide between Matt Doheny of Watertown and Kellie Greene of Sackets Harbor. The winner of that primary will appear on the Republican line when challenging U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in the Nov. 6 general election.
-Voters have three choices in the U.S. Senate primary: New York City lawyer Wendy Long, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and U.S. Rep. Bob Turner. The winner will challenge U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., as a Republican in November.
The deadline to request absentee ballots is June 19. They must be postmarked by June 25 and be received by July 3 to be counted.
Meanwhile, we hope you have a good Memorial Day, a holiday we wrote about in Saturday's editorial. We encourage you to attend a local service or to otherwise take time to remember the men and women who died so Americans would be free to do things like elect their leaders. It's a great privilege and responsibility.