This year’s primary election on June 26 will be vital for New Yorkers, who will help determine which political hopefuls will journey on to represent their districts on Capitol Hill. With the offices of the state’s foremost representation comes much responsibility, and in light of the uncertain outcome of the presidential election this November, the resounding call could not be more palpable.

With budget cuts to many of the state’s government agencies, the Board of Elections, as reported by the AmNews last week, will not be sending out mailed notifications in preparation for next week’s primary election. Instead, the agency will be relying on elected officials to circulate newsletters and post reminders on their websites.

In addition to the Board of Elections’ cutbacks, most of the districts have been notably shaken up after the state’s redrawn district borders, altering some polling site locations, which is sure to discourage minority voters in particular from casting their ballot this upcoming Tuesday.

The state redistricted places like the 13th District, which emcompasses the Upper West Side, Harlem and now portions of the south Bronx. This new district poses a unique challenge to incumbent Charles Rangel, who has held office for over 40 years. The new district has a majority Latino population. Rangel’s lead challenger, Adriano Espalliat, is hoping to unseat him to become the first Dominican-American elected to Congress. However, Rangel, who has admirably championed for his district, will surely put up a tough fight, as many of his constituents maintain their allegiance to the political luminary.

Another critical race will be between City Council Member Charles Barron and Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, who are vying for the vacant 8th District seat in Brooklyn once occupied by Rep. Ed Towns, who decided not to seek re-election for his 16th term. Both Barron and Rangel have been endorsed by the AmNews.

Other races include the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th and 16th districts, as well as the U.S. Senate.

Every New Yorker would be remiss in not exercising their right to vote. There is much unfinished business in Washington, including improving the country’s recovering economy and gaining federal resources yet to be realized for the state of New York. Considering what’s at stake, New Yorkers, minority voters especially, cannot afford to sit idly by and not have their voices heard. Who voters elect to Congress will play a critical role in the future of not only New York, but the country as a whole.

To locate polling sites and learn more about the congressional ballot, voters can visit the Board of Elections’ official website at