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Editorial: If you care, register to vote now

Editorial: If you care, register to vote now

Registration deadline for congressional primaries is Friday, June 1
Editorial: If you care, register to vote now
Niskayuna residents head into the high school to vote on the school budget on June 18, 2013.
Photographer: Gazette file photo

For all the complaining we all do about Congress, not a lot of us bother to vote when we have a chance to make a difference.

If you’re not registered to vote yet —either because you’ve had no interest in the past, you haven’t gotten around to it or you’ve recently become eligible to vote because you turned 18 or became an American citizen — you have just a couple of days to act.

Coming up on June 26 are the primary races for the congressional seats that will be contested in November. Friday, June 1, is the deadline for in-person registration and mail-in registration postmarks.

In New York, we have not one, but two dates for primaries this year — one for federal elections like Congress and another for local and state elections like governor, attorney general, state Legislature and county and municipal offices.

To no avail, we’ve urged the state to adopt a single primary date and registration deadline in order to make the primary process more efficient and reduce confusion that results in people missing the deadlines. But incumbents generally favor a process that discourages new voters and primaries. So it is what it is.

Locally, voters registered in the Democratic Party will be voting June 26 for the challengers who will face off in November against Rep. Elise Stefanik (21st Congressional District) and Rep. John Faso (19th Congressional District). 

In Stefanik’s district, six Democrats are on the June 26 primary ballot. In Faso’s, there are seven Democrats.

Neither Republican incumbent faces a primary challenger, nor does Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko in the 20th District.

These primaries are important races that will ultimately help decide the outcome of the general election. That’s why it’s vital that people interested in the outcome register to vote now.

So visit the Board of Elections by Friday or download a registration form online and stick it in the mail by Friday.

By the way, if you’re thinking of changing your political party affiliation so you can vote in this year’s primaries, you’re out of luck. The deadline was Oct. 13 of last year, an astonishingly early deadline that discourages many potential voters from participating in primaries. 

For the state and local primaries on Sept. 13, the voter registration deadline is Aug. 19. But why not sign up now while you’re thinking about it? 

New York’s multiple deadlines for multiple elections purposely make it difficult for people to register to vote. 

If you have any interest in the outcome of any of these races, register now.

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