New York’s primary season a source of confusion

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Early voting is underway in New York’s congressional primary, which is next Tuesday. This will set the final field for a slew of competitive contests in the general election in November.

This is the second New York primary this summer. That’s unusual, and it may be confusing.

“Confusing” might be a polite description of this year’s primary election season in New York. It’s puzzling, it’s frustrating, and for many New Yorkers it is kind of a conduit for creating apathetic behavior and perpetuating cynical belief.

The reason we’ve reached this point is that the state’s highest court ruled that redistricting maps drawn up by Democrats were unconstitutional. Therefore, the maps were they had to be redrawn.

People didn’t know which candidates would be representing them. Candidates didn’t even know which districts in which they’d be running.

They were able to hold the gubernatorial primaries in June.

However, primaries for Congress or state Legislature candidates were pushed back until Aug. 23.

Lower Voter Turnout Expected

Keep in mind, many New Yorkers are on vacation. Many are bringing their kids to back to college, or getting younger kids ready for school. Many are not thinking about politics or elections.

That’s why pundits expect voter turnout for this second primary of the summer to be even lower than past primary turnout levels that are already shamefully low.

When only a small percentage of the electorate gets to choose the candidates, Skidmore College political science professor Ron Seyb says you’re more likely to get extreme candidates outside the mainstream ideology.

“The more people feel like their vote doesn’t matter, as if the outcome of the election is already pre-determined, the more they feel like they don’t have representation that reflects their interest or their values,” Seyb said. “They’re more likely to become disengaged from politics. And that will have an effect not only on primary elections but probably on the general election too.”

Early began Saturday. It will end on Sunday.

New York is a closed primary state. You must be enrolled in a political party in order to vote in the primary.

The general election will be Nov. 8.