Election season is sooner than you think


Many voters may believe election season gets under way in early fall and ends on Election Day in November. That’s the way it might have been with secretive behind-the-scenes maneuvering and fundraising mainly done at gatherings for political party insiders.
But with the advent of digital marketing, email blasts, social media platforms and texting, there is a constant barrage of electioneering done year-round. And now there is also early voting.
With primary elections now in June instead of September, election season sneaks up on the unsuspecting electorate like an early-summer rainstorm. This year’s primary is June 28, when many will have just finished with high school graduations and may be planning their summer vacations.
In other words, election season is closer than you realize.
To whet voters’ appetites in what is considered an off-year election season — because there is no presidential race — candidates have been busy. Like Gov. Kathy Hochul. The former lieutenant governor became New York’s chief executive last August after Andrew Cuomo resigned, and became the de facto leader of the state’s Democratic Party.
However, she faces an internal challenge from U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, whose congressional district, as it is currently configured, includes parts of Nassau County.
And there are eight candidates, from both sides of the aisle, vying to replace Suozzi in the House of Representatives — a field that widened after redistricting stretched his congressional coverage area through the eastern edges of Queens, the Bronx and Westchester County. (A recent court decision in Steuben County has questioned the Democratically drawn redistricting plan, so the race remains in limbo at the moment.)
On successive days in February, U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky — both Democrats — announced that they would not seek re-election. Five Democrats are running to replace Rice, while Republicans have coalesced around a single candidate. There are two candidates running for Kaminsky’s seat.
Even as you read this, there was a special election on Thursday, after the Herald went to press, that included early voting that started March 28. Ari Brown and David Lobl, both from Cedarhurst, sought to succeed Melissa “Missy” Miller in the State Assembly. Miller’s district covers 11 communities and parts of another in southwest Nassau.
There will be another election for the same seat later this year.
What does all this mean to you, the average voter, and likely not a political insider? It translates into a much busier-than-expected election cycle in which impactful decisions are being made.
Voters need to pay attention, and register to vote. You use your voice by casting a ballot for the candidate of your choice. Don’t allow the opportunity to be wasted.
From newspapers to television, there will be plenty of stories on the candidates. Most have their own websites, on which they share what they stand for — and what they stand against. And beginning with the June primary and leading to the general election Nov. 8, you will have every chance to show up at the polls and make your statement by casting a ballot.
Every vote matters. And being registered to vote, and marking that ballot, is the one significant way in which you can truly make an impact, whether it be in a primary — which is critical and maybe even decisive — or in the general election.
You also can make a statement by doing nothing and simply sitting on the sidelines. If candidates you support win, then no harm, no foul. But if they lose, you have no right to complain.

Primary 2022 important dates
June 3
Mail-in registration deadline
In-person registration deadline
Online registration deadline
June 18-26
Early voting
June 28
Primary day, with polls open from
6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Absentee/mail-in voting deadline

For local election information,
contact the Nassau County Board of Elections, at (516) 571-2411, or visit www.NassauCountyNY.gov. You can also reach out to the League of Women Voters of Nassau County, at (516) 431-1628, or visit www.LWVOfNassauCounty.org.