ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — New York’s Primary Election Day is Tuesday, and most people are focused on the two-party majority’s race for governor.
News 8 checked in with the Monroe County Board of Elections to find out what voters need to know before heading to the polls.
First and foremost, all voters must be registered Democrats or Republicans to participate in the primary elections. You can check your registration status online, where you can also find your polling location.
Another important note: Some locations have changed due to redistricting.
“We did send out notices to everyone back in April, but that was a couple of months ago at this point so it’s important in case you lost it [or] you forgot — double check yourself,” said the Democratic Commissioner with the Monroe County Board of Elections Jackie Ortiz. “All of that information is available on our website where you can get your polling locations, your sample ballots, and all of the above.”
In a typical year, several more primary elections would be on the ballot. However, this year has one primary in June and the other in August.
When the state first attempted to redraw the congressional map, a court struck down the new map on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.
By the time a new map was drawn by a neutral expert in late May, it was too tight of a turnaround to execute a smooth election.
There are no party challenges in the state Senate races or Congressional races in Monroe County, therefore there will not be a separate primary in August.
“The Governor’s race is a big deal: the Republican side, we have four candidates,” Republican Commissioner with Monroe County Board of Elections Lisa Nicolay said. “I would encourage every Republican to go out and vote, because it’s really important and that will be the person who goes on to take on the Governor, Kathy Hochul, in the November [election].”
As far as security goes, Monroe County’s Board of Elections is boosting what is called the “chain of custody” to ensure proper procedures.
“Who’s touching things? Is it happening on a bipartisan basis? Is everything sealed when it’s in movement? Who are they being delivered to at what time? What exactly is returned to us? Are the seals on the numbers matching from when we send things out to the polling sites, when we receive them back? So there are a lot of different safeguards we have in place that we kind of check the boxes as we move throughout the evening,” Ortiz explained.
Depending on where you live, there may be some lower-level races on your ballot. Some in Monroe County include a City Court Judge in Rochester and open seats for the Brighton Town Committee.
“The Democrat side has primaries for Committee People — which is really the lowest level, the most to-the-people level,” Nicolay said. “Those are the folks that then become the Committee who gets to choose their party’s representation going forward.”
All polling locations are ADA accessible, and many will have Spanish interpreters on site. Voters can always call the Board of Election’s main number to be connected with bilingual interpreters, too.
There will be an American Sign Language interpreter at the SUNY Empire Campus polling location, as well.
You can check your voting status and polling location at MonroeCounty.gov.