Here’s how to vote in the NY Dem primary

To vote in the presidential primary election June 23, you must be a registered Democrat. The deadline to change parties has already passed, but you can register to vote for the first time until May 29.

Polling locations will be open on election day, and both Franklin and Essex counties will have one early voting location each, which will be open from June 13 until primary day, with some weekend days off.

Franklin County Republican Elections Commissioner Tracy Sparks and Democratic Deputy Commissioner of Elections Heather Marlow said the number of people allowed in poll sites will be decreased, masks and six-foot social distancing be required, hand sanitizer will be provided and election workers will wipe down pens and iPad covers after every use.

Essex County Democratic Election Commissioner Sue Montgomery Corey said she is worried about the ability to run completely clean and safe poll sites, saying many election volunteers are older and more vulnerable to the virus.

However, in-person voting is not required.

Vote from home

Absentee voting, by mail, was opened to all New York voters this year, and all a vote needs to do is check the “temporary illness” box on an absentee ballot application to be accepted.

These absentee ballot applications can be downloaded at the county or state board of elections websites, printed, filled out and mailed in. County boards will also be mailing out the applications to eligible voters.

County officials say voters do not need to wait for theirs to come in the mail, though. They can start the process themselves by downloading the forms, as detailed above.

After an application is approved the counties will send out an absentee ballot, which can then be filled out and mailed in. Applications for the ballots must be mailed in before June 16.

Montgomery Corey said online applications for absentee ballots only apply to voting in the June 23 primary.

She said ballots can be sent in anytime before the election and still be counted. June 22 is the last day to postmark a ballot, which much be received no later than June 30, and June 23, election day, is the last day to deliver the ballot in person.

Montgomery Corey also said Essex County voters can apply for a ballot application by email, at elections@essexcountyny.gov or by phone, at 518-873-3474.

She said this is a “good alternative” to in-person voting and she is glad New Yorkers have the option. She said she hoped eventually the state follows other state’s and does not require a reason for absentee voting in the first place.

Printing process

Montgomery Corey said Essex County is in the midst of printing applications now, and that it will send them out to 7,000 eligible voters soon.

She said this was an “unexpected expense” for the board of elections, which has to outsource the job to a printing company, but she said the state may receive federal money from the CARES Act to cover some of the expense, since the primary is a federal venture.

Franklin County Democratic Election Commissioner Brandon John Varin said the county is printing 8,700 applications. He said there are 10,000 inactive and inactive voters eligible withing the county, and that the county is shipping one envelope per household — leading to the 8,700 number — in order to reduce waste.


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