CAPITAL REGION — Some people will line up to vote in dawn's early light. Some, in the hurly-burly of the day, will mean to vote, but forget.
At polling places, there will be nervous first-time voters. For others, the civic tradition is an annual rite that includes mingling with neighbors in line, chatting with poll workers who seem like old friends, and dropping a dollar or two at the baked goods sale in the hall.
They're all scenes to be expected on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6. It's when people perform the most basic function of citizenship in a representative democracy – choosing who will represent them as decisions are made in Washington, D.C., Albany or in their local town, city and village halls.
Today, The Daily Gazette offers an informative guide to the names on the ballots and issues facing voters across the region.
Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with voters again using the large paper ballots that are fed into electronic counting machines.
The offices at stake this year include governor, U.S. senator, congressman, and the entire membership of the state Senate and Assembly – plus a few city, town and village elections, in places where circumstances have led to special elections. Saratoga Springs voters will decide for the second year in a row – fifth time in 18 years – whether to make changes in the City Charter.
It's often said that, at the local level, people vote for the person, not the party. But when you get to higher levels, that's a lot less true.
The polarizing national political atmosphere aside, Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro and the other Republicans seeking statewide office face challenging math: There are more than twice as many enrolled Democrats as Republicans in New York state. That's one of the reasons Democrats have controlled statewide offices since 2006.
New York state has 6.2 million registered Democrats and 2.8 million registered Republicans – an enrollment advantage that shrinks, though, to fewer than 250,000 voters when counties from Westchester and Rockland south are excluded from the calculation. Large swaths of upstate are very much in play, when good candidates are running.
Vote your party, your candidate or your conscience, but we urge you, if you're eligible, to vote.
Capital Region Election Guide 2018
Cuomo and Molinaro have different ideas
Little-known Republicans compete for attorney general and comptroller
Faso-Delgado race could shift national power balance
Hudson Valley/Catskills district looks like toss-up
Chele Farley challenging Gillibrand
Gillibrand holds wide lead in polls
Stefanik and Cobb face off in North Country
Tedra Cobb in spirited battle with Elise Stefanik
Tonko has major advantage in congressional race
Tonko a staunch political progressive
Five contested state Assembly seats
118th District race most controversial of any local Assembly race
All local state Senate races being contested
Democrats hope to take Senate control
There are county and local elections, too
Schenectady County to pick clerk, Montgomery County new sheriff
Voter registration numbers
Numbers are up significantly from last November in Saratoga and Schenectady Counties
Gazette Endorsements 2018
Board considers candidates' experiences, solutions for issues affecting constituents
Foss: Vote, and make a difference in your community
Outcomes of races in swing districts will tell us about the national psyche
Voices of the 19th District
Residents sick of ads, ready for Election Day