Mark you calendar:
The New York State Presidential Primaries will be held on Tuesday, April 19, 2016. You need to be registered in party in order to vote in that party’s primary. If you are not presently registered, or you wish to change your party, you will need to fill out a registration form and return it to your county’s Board of Election by Friday, October 9. If you mail it, the postmark must be October 8 or earlier. You can get a form from your County’s Board of Election or download one from the NYS Elections website. You can not change your party after October 9 until after the Presidential election in November, 2016. You are not eligible to vote if you are in prison or on parole for a felony conviction, or if you claim the right to vote in another county or state.
Thirty-Six States have scheduled their Primaries or Caucuses before New York’s. March 1 is called “Super Tuesday” when 11 states hold Primaries or Caucuses. This is not good for New York. By the time our primaries are held, there is a good chance that one of the candidates in each party would have a large enough lead in delegates that the race would realistically be over. It is kind of like voting for President in Hawaii after the rest of the nation have had their votes reported.
Also, states have different laws regulating their primaries. Some states hold “open primaries”, which permits any voter participate in any primary. Some states hold “closed primaries”, which permits only party members participate in their party’s primary. Some states hold “semi-closed” primaries, which lets those who are not in a party vote in the primary of their choice. New York’s Primary is a “closed primary”. Since we see news reports about other states’ primary elections, some New York voters could be confused and think they that can vote in either party’s primary.
Not only do the states have rules, each party has their own rules about their delegates. The Republican Party permits each state to decide how they allocate their delegates. New York is a statewide winner-take-all delegates state, others allocate their delegates differently. The Democratic delegates are all allocated by the proportion of votes they receive.
The Republicans and Democrats both have scheduled their National Conventions in July. The GOP will assemble in Cleveland from Monday, July 18 to Thursday, July 21; the Dems in Philadelphia the next week, Monday, July 25 to Thursday, July 28.
Then the real campaign begins!