Submitted by Renate Ferro for the Tompkins Weekly “Democratic View”, June 2022
The New York Court of Appeals declared in early spring 2022 that district maps delineating the US Congressional and State Senate districts for many New York counties, including Tompkins, would be void for the upcoming June primary election. Jonathan Cervas, a post-doctoral fellow from the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie-Mellon University and a research associate affiliated with the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, was the special master assigned by the State Supreme Court and heard cases earlier in May from representatives from communities across New York state, including Tompkins County.
On May 20th Justice Patrick McCallister ordered Master Cervas’ proposals accepted and that new district maps would be adopted and implemented for US Congressional Districts and NYS Senate Districts in New York State. With the release of these newly designated area maps, Tompkins County Democrats and Democratic candidates have their work cut out for them to communicate the primary election changes that will ensue. In essence final candidates for the November election will be determined by not one, but two primary elections. In addition to the regularly scheduled Primary on June 28th and an additional Primary on August 23, a special election will also take place on August 23rd in Tompkins County so voters will find an additional ballot to file. Here are the basics to help you sort this out.
Perhaps first to mention is what has not changed. The regularly scheduled June 28th Democratic Primary, with early voting to be held from the 18th to the 26th of June, will still take place. Every registered Democrat can vote for candidates running for New York State Governor and Lieutenant Governor including Thomas Suozzi, Kathy Hochul, and Jumaane Williams for Governor and Anna Maria Archilla. Diana Reyna, and Antonio Delgado for Lieutenant Governor. At a recent meeting of the Tompkins County Democratic Committee, Hochul and Delgado were endorsed by a majority vote. Also, noteworthy, is that residents who reside in District 4-1 in the City of Ithaca will vote for either Tiffany Kumar or Patrick Mehler to fill a one-year vacancy for Alderman.
To vote for other Democratic candidates, voters will have to return to the polls later in the summer due to the redrawing of the US Congressional and NYS Senatorial District maps on May 20th. For Tompkins County this second Primary Day on August 23rd will decide Democratic Candidates for the newly constituted 19th US Congressional District and the 52nd NYS Senate District.
Democratic candidates running in the Primary for the 19th US Congressional District include Broome County resident, Josh Riley thus far. The 19th US Congressional District includes Ithaca and Tompkins County as the most western county with Cortland and Broome extending east over to the New York State border including Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego. Sullivan, Tioga and Ulster Counties. This link provides a look at the expanse of this district: newyork.redistrictingandyou.org.
The 52nd NY State Senate district including Tompkins, Broome, and Cortland Counties will see Leslie Danks-Burke and Lea Webb face off.
Readers should be aware that there may be other candidates that step forward as the open petition filing dates for the above races are not due until June 8 to 10th.
While at the polls on August 23rd, Democrats will also receive a SECOND BALLOT for a Special Election of the US Congressional District 23 seat vacated by Tom Reed (R). Tompkins County has the opportunity to vote a Democrat into the 23rd for the four months that the county will remain in the 23rd to replace Reed who recently stepped down. Max DellaPia is running for the seat. Tompkins County Democrats will recognize DellaPia from his run against Tracey Mitrano in the Primary from last election cycle.
It is important for all registered Democrats to vote in these Primary Elections that will determine who appears on the ballot in the General Election on November 8th this fall. For all voting questions including how to register, how to apply for an absentee ballot, where to vote for the elections and early voting please visit the Tompkins County Board of Elections tompkinscountyny.gov/boe.
To volunteer for any Democratic candidate please contact the Tompkins County Democratic Committee at tcdemocrats.org/tc-democrats/contact-tcdc. For updates watch the TCDC website tcdemocrats.org/candidates/. Also, general voting information can be found at tcdemocrats.org/voting.