Primary Day? Not again!

By Alaina Raftis

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PS133 in Chelsea is one of 48 poll stations in State Senate District 31. Credit: Alaina Raftis/The North Polls

Yes, you’re not imagining it.  We did just have a primary, on June 28, when New Yorkers picked the candidates to replace longtime Congressman Charles Rangel.  And a few months before that, April 19, it was the Presidential primary battle. Today’s primary election, for New York State legislative offices, is the third of the year.

“This primary will probably be the lowest voter turnout on record. People are too confused,” said Donathon Salkaln of Manhattan. 

Salkaln, who is running today for alternate delegate on the judicial nominating convention, was outside PS 133 in Chelsea this morning passing out flyers with the title, “Don’t Forget Primary Day is Tuesday, September 13th.”

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Light foot traffic outside the polls at PS 133 in Chelsea where there was on average five to six voters per hour this morning, according to a Board of Election coordinator. Credit: Alaina Raftis/The North Polls

“They’ve had three primaries and it’s been a total waste of money. I think every one of these is about $14 million. That money could go to affordable housing.” said Salkaln.

Holding federal and state primaries on two separate dates in New York costs “counties an extra $25 million by the Legislature’s estimate” according to an article on DemocratandChronicle.com.

It didn’t used to be this way.  In 2012, a federal judge ordered the congressional primary to be moved earlier in order to comply with a law requiring enough time for military absentee voting. Since then, the divided New York State legislature has been trying to come up with a common federal and state primary date. But once again, they were unable to reach a compromise, which led many of us to the polls for the third time this year.

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109th Street was full of signs supporting various candidates on primary election day. Credit: Alaina Raftis/The North Polls

These primaries are all pointing toward one more voting day: Nov. 8. That’s when the winners of the 2016 primaries will face off, including Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, who are vying to become the 45th President of the United States.

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