Two primary elections are coming up in New York State, including one in June in which our local Congressional seat will be contested. But unless some Rye voters act quickly — by Feb. 15 — they may not be able to participate.
Primary elections in New York are “closed;” in contrast to many other states, independent voters may not vote in a Democratic or Republican primary, and those who wish to switch parties have to do so up to four months before the vote.
Upcoming are two primaries: a Republican presidential primary on April 2, and on June 25, a Democratic Congressional primary pitting Westchester County Executive George Latimer against incumbent Jamal Bowman.
If you are an “unaffiliated voter”— registered but independent — you would not be able to vote in either. To choose a party, and in effect, to choose a primary, you must download, print, and complete a New York State Voter Registration Form (even if you are already registered), sign and mail it to the Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas St., White Plains, NY 10601.
For independent voters, the upcoming Feb. 14 deadline offers a chance to cast a meaningful vote in a contested election. There are some 129,000 non-affiliated voters in Westchester County — more than there are registered Republicans (128,000). There are 263,000 enrolled Democrats, which makes the Democratic primary likely to predict the final November outcome in a Congressional race.