Primary election between Castelli, Putorti is today
VOTER GUIDE: Who’s on the ballot? Where to vote? Who has voted already?
For the second time this summer, New York voters will head to the polls for a primary election, but this time, in Franklin and Essex counties, it’s for Democrats only.
The only race on the primary ballot for both counties is the NY-21 match-up between Democratic congressional candidates Matt Castelli and Matt Putorti, who are both running to unseat U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Republican.
Castelli, a former CIA officer and counterterrorism director for the National Security Council who grew up in the Hudson Valley and currently lives in Glens Falls, will be on the Nov. 8 general election ballot in either case, as he created and secured the independent “Moderate Party” line. He has said he’s “confident” he will win the primary and that this party line is meant to make Republicans comfortable voting for him.
But Putorti, a lawyer who grew up in Whitehall, has said this makes Castelli a potential “spoiler.” Putorti hopes to win the primary, and said if he does so, Castelli being on the Nov. 8 ballot could split Democratic votes, potentially giving Stefanik an edge, Putorti says.
New York has had a strange primary election this year, as its once-in-a-decade redistricting process has been steeped in controversy, partisanship and court battles.
Some maps state Democrats drew up, which favored their party in how districts were shaped, were deemed unconstitutionally created by the state’s top court. The maps were thrown out, and to give enough time for a court-appointed expert to draw up new maps, statewide primary elections for House seats were moved from June to August.
Primaries for the gubernatorial and state Assembly races were held back in June at the regularly scheduled time.
All New York polling sites can be found at https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov.
Polls are open today from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Franklin County Republican Election Commissioner Tracy Sparks said 126 Democrats participated in early voting between Aug. 13 and 21. Early voting turnout was lower overall than in the June primary, she said, but Democratic Election Commissioner Brandon John Varin said the Democrat turnout more than doubled from that primary to this one.
Sparks said 375 absentee ballots were requested in Franklin County and that 151 had been returned as of Monday afternoon. Absentee ballots can still be returned in person at polling sites until they close today, or by mail if they are postmarked by today and get to the board of elections by Aug. 30. To find your local Franklin County polling site, go to PRIMARY POLLING SITES
Essex County Deputy Democratic Commissioner Jennifer Fifield said 210 Democrats participated in early voting between Aug. 13 and 21. That’s significantly higher than the 152 voters from both major parties who voted early in the June primary.
Fifield said 346 absentee ballots were requested in Essex County and 186 had been returned as of Monday afternoon. Absentee ballots can still be returned in person at polling sites until they close today, or by mail if they are postmarked by today and get to the board of elections by Aug. 30.
Fifield also said the county distributed more absentee ballots for this primary than in the June primary.
General election information
Voters of all parties can head to the polls on Election Day, Nov. 8. Polls on that day will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Voters will vote for a governor, lieutenant governor, state attorney general, state comptroller, state senator, state assembly member, congressperson, U.S. Senator and Franklin County legislators, among other local elections.
Franklin County early voting stations will also be open at the county courthouse — 355 West Main St., Suite 161, Malone — from Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 and 3, the offices will be open from 12 to 8 p.m.
In Essex County, early voting will be held at the Lake Placid Elementary School, 318 Old Military Road.
The last day to apply for registration to vote in this election is Oct. 14 and applications by mail must be received by Oct. 19.
The last day to change a voter address is Oct. 19.
The last day to mail an absentee ballot application is Oct. 24. The last day to deliver an absentee ballot application in person at the county offices is Nov. 7.
Absentee ballots for the Nov. 8 election must reach the county Board of Elections by close of the polls on Election Day or be postmarked no later than the day of the election and received by Nov. 15.