To vote or not to vote, that is the primary question


Though primaries in a heavily Democratic city like New York are “the real” voting to some people, others believe there is no point in voting at all.

James Ruiz, 32, was cleaning his car near the PS165 polling site, but not planning to go inside.  “I am a grounded person,” he said. “I care more about family and financing them rather than elections,” he added.

James is currently unemployed, but doesn’t see a solution in politics, “At the end of the day, candidates make decisions that they feel like, not what makes us vote for them.”

Charlie Bernard, 57, is a  Columbia University staff member, who was running errands some blocks away from the polling station. To him, politics means “too many promises and no result.” “I am not going to vote,” he said.

“I don’t believe in politicians, because everybody lies,” he added. He finds politicians to be more “entertaining” than practical. “It makes me laugh… watching politicians exchanging lies on TV,” he said.

After casting her vote in the primary for Assembly District 69, sociology student Adrianna Bagnall, 27, had a different perspective. “Today, it is very important to make sure that we have good people in our parties to put forward, so that we don’t end up with something like what’s going on with the presidential election.”

Watch more pro-voting thoughts here:



Unemployed single mother runs as Republican in Assembly District 70

Heather Tarrant takes the subway to the Metropolitan Republican Club, hoping to raise money for her campaign. Credit: Somayeh Malekian/The North Polls

By Somayeh Malekian

Heather Tarrant introduces herself on her flyers as a candidate of the Independence and Reform parties before listing herself as a Republican. She is running for Assembly District 70 seat in Central Harlem.

Democrat incumbent Keith Wright, who currently holds the seat, is stepping down after losing his bid to take over Charlie Rangel’s congressional post. Tarrant’s rival in the November general election is City Councilwoman Inez Dickens, a Democrat.

Tarrant, who declined to give her age, is a single mother of a daughter and has lived in Central Harlem since 1999.

She got her bachelor’s degree in economics from University of Rochester in the 1990s. She worked in marketing at different financial companies on Wall Street. However, she resigned after 9/11, after getting asthma and not feeling comfortable with the security conditions at her workplace. She tried to become an actress, but was not successful. Tarrant is currently unemployed.

There is no financial filing listed in the state Board of Elections Financial Disclosure Database for Tarrant.

“I am not running to lose. I am running to give people a chance to choose. Otherwise, it would be just Democrats making decisions for people,” Tarrant said.

Campaign platform

  • Pro Choice
  • Pro Black Lives Matter
  • Pro Student
  • Pro Small Business