The race for New York’s next governor is in full swing and Primary Day is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28. The early voting period started last weekend and will last through Sunday.
The primaries will decide some key questions: Will Governor Kathy Hochul, who took office after her predecessor stepped down last August, win a decisive victory over the Democratic challengers? And who will be the leading face of the state’s Republicans?
Here’s what you need to know about the governor’s primaries and the other elections.
Who’s running for governor and lieutenant governor?
In the Democratic primary, Governor Hochul will face two challengers: Representative Tom Suozzi, a Long Island congressman, and Jumaane Williams, New York City’s public advocate.
In New York, lieutenant governors are elected individually. In the Democratic race, Ms. Hochul’s deputy, Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, will face Diana Reyna, a former city councilor who works with Mr. Suozzi, and Ana María Archila, an activist who, along with Mr. Williams, was recently approved by Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
In the Republican primaries, the only candidate for Lieutenant Governor is Alison Esposito, a former New York City deputy police inspector named by Mr. Zeldin as his running mate.
Ms. Hochul has a formidable fundraising lead over her Democratic opponents and has amassed significant messages of support. She also uses incumbent power, highlighting popular measures she has helped push through the legislature, such as a bill to strengthen protections for abortion providers ahead of Friday’s Supreme Court decision to Roe v. Wade to undo.
Mr Williams, challenging Ms Hochul from the left, ran a competitive race against her for Lieutenant Governor in 2018, but failed to gain the same momentum this time. Suozzi goes against party leaders in an attempt to evade the governor of the right with a focus on crime and taxes.
The Republican race has, in part, played out like a referendum on former President Donald J. Trump. Mr Zeldin, once considered a moderate, has become a strong Trump supporter who has accused rivals of insufficient loyalty to the former president. That dynamic, whoever the winners are, creates a stark contrast between the parties in the run-up to the general election.
What other breeds are on the ballot?
The June 28 vote will also include primary races for the State Assembly, the lower chamber of the legislature, which is controlled by Democrats. All 150 seats are up for grabs in the fall, although not all members face primary challenges.
In the Democratic Assembly races, a number of left-wing candidates challenge a number of established members.
They are intended to push Democrats to commit to progressive agenda items — such as climate laws, including one that allows the state to build public renewable energy projects — or beat them by focusing on those issues.
Candidates for Attorney General and State Comptroller are unopposed in the primaries, as is U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, although he will face a Republican challenger in the fall.
Voters in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens can also vote for judges.
When and how can I personally cast my vote?
The early voting period started last weekend and will run through Sunday, June 26.
You can also vote on Election Day, Tuesday 28 June. The polling stations are open that day from 06.00 am to 21.00 pm
How do I find my polling station?
In most cases, your polling station during the early voting period will be different from the polling station you would go to on Election Day. Enter your address here to find the locations for each.
On that website, you will also find the hours of operation of your polling station, the locations of accessible entrances, and the legislative districts you are in. You may also have received a voter guide in the mail that contains this information.
Anyone who encounters obstacles in voting can call the state’s Election Protection Hotline at 866-390-2992.
How do I vote in absence?
The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by post has passed, but you can apply for it online here.
You can also apply in person to your provincial election council until June 27, or identify someone else to submit your application. You can cite the Covid-19 pandemic or any number of other things as reasons for voting absent.
But under a recent law change, if you apply for an absentee ballot and then decide to vote in person rather than machine vote, you’ll need to file an affidavit.
Absentee ballots must be mailed or submitted to your provincial election council before Election Day. Ballot papers sent must be received by July 5 to be counted. To see if yours has been received, use the new absence tracking tool recently added to the voter registration search page and state poll site.
According to the state council, just over 89,000 votes had been cast during the early voting period on Thursday.