An Overview of the Primaries and How to Prepare for Election Day
By: Olivia Frasca
The fall season has finally arrived. The cooler weather and changing leaves call for apple picking and pumpkin carving.
Time to kick back in those knit sweaters, turn on the television, and enjoy the latest mudslinging political advertisement.
That’s right, it’s election season too.
On Thursday, September 13th, the 2018 New York State primary elections were held. This year, the public voted for candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and several seats in the state Senate and Assembly.
After the results of the primary elections, the outcome of Election Day seems far from unpredictable. Andrew Cuomo, Kathy Hochul, and Letitia James gained the democratic nomination for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General, respectively.
According to The New York Times, incumbent Cuomo won the gubernatorial primary by 65.6%, while Cynthia Nixon had 34.4% of the vote from upstate counties. On Staten Island, Cuomo won 73.6% of the vote.
Nixon, a longtime New Yorker, actress, and political activist, has slammed Cuomo for allowing tax cuts for the wealthy and for neglecting to prioritize the New York City subway system. As a more progressive candidate, she has advocated for removing ICE, reforming education, and preventing homelessness.
Cuomo, who is running for a third term as governor, has been public in his fight against President Trump’s actions toward immigrant families.
His notable achievements as governor include expanding financial aid, increasing the minimum wage to $15, providing 12 weeks of paid family leave, and leading relief efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
Marc Molinaro, the uncontested Republican candidate for governor, vows to end Albany’s culture of corruption
According to his official website, Molinaro has revolved his campaign around reforming the education system, opioid crisis, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).
Just days before the primary, Cuomo and his top aides were under fire for releasing a mailer that labeled Nixon as anti-Semitic. The Working Families Party, who has backed Cuomo in his 2010 and 2014 run for office, has not supported his nomination in 2018.
As for Lieutenant Governor, incumbent Hochul won 53.3% of the democratic primary vote against Nixon’s running mate, Jumaane D. Williams. Hochul served as the U.S. Representative for the 26th congressional district of New York before becoming Lieutenant Governor in 2015.
Her primary victory was the closest out of the other elections.
New York City Public Advocate James won the Democratic seat for Attorney General in a four-way race between Zephyr Teachout, Sean Patrick Maloney, and Leecia Eve.
If James prevails in November, she will become the first African American woman to be an Attorney General in the state of New York.
According to her official website, James has advocated for criminal justice reform, affordable housing, and quality education for New Yorkers. Prior to her primary victory, she was endorsed by Governor Cuomo.
The best way to make your voice heard on November 6th, Election Day, is to vote. Luckily, registering to vote is easier than ever.
The New York State Board of Elections website offers registration forms and other information for current and prospective voters.
Once completed, mail your form to your county board of elections. If you will not be in the state on Election Day, fill out an absentee ballot.
A change in party enrollment should be done by October 12th in order to vote in your preferred party’s 2019 primary. To be eligible to vote on November 6th, register no later than October 12th.
CUNY students can also visit http://www.cuny.edu/vote to learn more about registering on campus or in-person.
Happy fall, and most importantly, happy voting!