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Editorial: Sitting out today’s primaries? What’s your excuse?

Editorial: Sitting out today’s primaries? What’s your excuse?

Voters should take advantage of important vote
Editorial: Sitting out today’s primaries? What’s your excuse?
Photographer: Shutterstock

What’s going to be your excuse?

A major election is taking place Thursday (Sept. 13) that could help determine the future of New York state.

Your taxes. Your health care. Crime. Education. Jobs. The economy. Gun laws.

But if this primary election is like others, most of those who are eligible to vote will sit this one out, leaving to a handful of strangers the power to pick the candidates who will represent their political parties in the general election on Nov. 6.

What’s your excuse going to be? Let’s go through the usual ones:

I don’t have time.

The polls are open in local counties from noon to 9 p.m. True, it’s six fewer hours than the general election. But unless you work the noon-to-9 shift, you should be able to squeeze in a few minutes to vote today. Your polling place is very likely located very near your home. Stop in on the way to work or on the way home or during your lunch hour. You should be in and out in 10-15 minutes.

I don’t know if I’m eligible to vote and I don’t know where to vote.

Let’s kill two birds with one stone on this one. Visit the “Voter Lookup” page of the state Board of Elections website: https://voterlookup.elections.ny.gov. Plug in your name, address, birth date, ZIP code and county where you live, and up will pop everything you need to know about your party registration, your polling place (including a link for driving directions), and what state legislative districts you live in.

Every kindergartner knows their name, address and birthday. OK, maybe they don’t know their county, so be an adult and figure it out.

I don’t know who’s on the ballot.

Foiled again. We published a nice wrap-up of all the candidates on the various state and local ballots today. Here’s the link: https://dailygazette.com/article/2018/09/11/a-look-at-thursday-s-primaries.

That will tell you who’s running, what party they’re running in and whether a primary election is taking place where you live. We’ve published articles on the races, and you can Google information about candidates’ positions by plugging in their name and office sought.

This is only the primary. It doesn’t really matter.

ERRRHHHHHHH! (sound of an air horn.)

There are primaries for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general on the ballot today, as well as some state legislative seats and a handful of local races.

In the governor’s race, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing a challenge from actress/activist Cynthia Nixon. The winner gets the Democratic line in November, which will give that candidate a huge advantage in the November election.

The attorney general’s race pits four Democratic candidates seeking to face the Republican candidate to replace acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood. Even the lieutenant governor race is important. More than just a ribbon-cutter, the job is also a stepping stone to the governorship. Ask David Paterson.

The winner of the Republican primary for district attorney in Saratoga County will be the next district attorney, as there is no Democratic challenger on the ballot in November. And there are sporadic primaries for state legislative seats, especially if you’re in the Reform Party.

If you were hoping to vote for someone for Congress, however, you missed your chance. Those primaries were held separately in June.

My vote won’t matter.

With low turnout, any race is up for grabs. A four-way race for state attorney general could go any way with that many candidates dividing up the vote.

And in races around the country, many people who sat out the primaries were surprised the next morning to find out who won. Among the upsets were Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez downstate, Andrew Gillum in Florida and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts. Your vote does matter.

Anything can happen.

Yes, the general election is the big one. But many of those on that ballot will be determined in this election.

If you’re eligible to vote in the primaries, you’ve got no excuse for not voting other than that you just don’t care enough.

And that’s on you.

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