I know many of you may still be exhausted from the 2020 elections. Some of you may not find local politics exciting or worth your time. However, I implore you to pay close attention to the myriad of races going on throughout New York City this election cycle. Election day for the Democratic and Republican primaries is June 22nd. If you are a registered voter (or plan to register to vote), it is not too early to begin making a plan to turnout to vote.
Some important dates to remember: The deadline to register to vote is Friday, May 28, so if you have not done so already you still have one day to register! Early voting begins on Saturday, June 12 and be mindful that early voting locations are not necessarily the same as your regular polling station, so be sure to check for the proper location if you plan to vote early. And the deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 15.
Depending on which borough you reside in, you may be voting for judges, city council members, district attorney, or borough president. All residents across the five boroughs will be voting for the three city wide races: mayor, comptroller, and public advocate.
Due to term limits, there are several seats where the incumbent can no longer run for reelection; therefore, there will be many candidates on your ballot next month. It is best to be educated about the candidates and their positions before you receive your ballot. One of the resources you can use to learn more about your registration status, register to vote, and/or learn how to receive an absentee ballot if you need one, is www.whosontheballot.org.
In many of the races (but not all), rank choice voting will also be a new option on the ballot. The board of elections has a resource to help explain rank choice voting for the mayor, comptroller, public advocate, borough president, and city council elections. You can also find out more information about candidates and your polling location; go to https://vote.nyc/ to find out more. If you are unfamiliar with how rank choice voting works, I would suggest going to the vote.nyc website to learn more about how to fill out your ballot.
I cannot stress enough just how important it is for us to participate in local elections. Our representatives in New York City are in charge of so many policies that affect our daily lives. They are responsible for the health and wealth of the city and it is imperative we choose public servants who want to think about how to allocate resources and serve neighborhoods in these challenging times. Please make a voting plan. It is not too late to do your civic duty.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream,” and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and also the What’s in It for Us podcast.