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New York primary and special elections underway Tuesday

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 01: Voters prepare their ballots in voting booths during early voting for the California presidential primary election at an L.A. County 'vote center' on March 1, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles County and 14 other counties in California have transitioned from traditional polling places to ‘vote centers’ which allow residents the freedom to vote at any voting center in their county. California is one of 14 states participating in the Super Tuesday vote on March 3. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(WHAM) - In a year marked by oddities and unforeseen situations, New York's primary season is continuing the trend.

Tuesday marks the primary election for the state, as well as the date of a special election for a Congressional seat left vacant after a guilty plea to federal insider trading charges and subsequent resignation by its previous occupant.

Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. for elections, but tens of thousands of voters have already cast their ballots through early voting or through absentee ballots. Outlying counties in the greater Rochester region say they have already received thousands of ballots from absentee voters who chose to mail in their ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Genesee County Board of Elections officials say they have already received 6,800 ballots and Orleans County has 4,200 as of Monday. Ontario County mailed out 20,000 ballots - more than five times as many as any previous election year.

Since New York Board of Election policies require seven days for the absentee ballots to be collected and have the information transmitted to the state to check against voter rolls, vote counting will not begin until July 1.

"We really do not know how long this is all going to take, but...this will be a good test for the general [election]," said Vicky Olin, Republican Commissioner for the Steuben County Board of Election.

Seneca County Board of Elections officials said they hope to complete their count by July 10, but that is tentative.


Special Election

The 27th District for the House of Representatives is open for a new representative. Former Congressman Chris Collins left office after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI and insider trading last October. He is currently waiting to begin serving his 26-month sentence in federal prison.

The special election was originally scheduled for April 28, but had to be pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Jacobs is the favored candidate in the Republican primary for the seat. He earned an endorsement from President Donald Trump earlier this month. Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw Jr. and former Darien Town Justice Beth Parlato are challenging Jacobs. Parlato is also on the Conservative party ticket.

Democratic candidate Nate McMurray, who also ran against Collins in the previous election, is in the hunt as the lone Democrat. He is also on the Working Families Party line.

Michael Gammariello is the Green Party candidate. Jacobs is on the Independence Party line, as well. Duane Witmer and Nicholas Phelps are running on the Libertarian Party line.

The 27th District of New York is spread across all or parts of eight counties including Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Monroe, Ontario & Livingston.


Congressional Primary Races

The 24th District is currently represented by Republican Rep. John Katko.

Dana Balter and Francis Conole are running for the Democratic line in the general election.

Balter previously ran against Katko in the 2018 general election and lost by a 53-47 percent margin.

The 24th Congressional district of New York includes all of Cayuga, Onondaga, and Wayne counties, and the western part of Oswego County.


The 25th District is currently represented by Democrat Rep. Joe Morelle.

Morelle was elected in a special election in November 2018 after veteran Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a fellow Democrat, died in office at age 88.

Morelle is being challenged by Robin Wilt, a Brighton Town Board member and previous candidate for the 25th District.

The 25th Congressional District is located entirely in Monroe County.


New York State Legislature Primary Races

The 56th Senate District is currently represented by Republican State Senator Joe Robach. He is not running for re-election.

Former State Senate candidate Jeremy Cooney, former leader of the CEO of the Ibero American Action League Hilda Rosario-Escher, and Greece School Board member & RIT professor Dr. Sherita Traywick are all vying for the Democratic nomination.

The 56th District is comprised entirely in Monroe County, and includes the Towns of Brighton, Clarkson, Gates, Greece, Hamlin, Parma, and parts of the City of Rochester


The 61st Senate District is currently represented by Republican State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. He is not running for re-election.

Kim Smith, Jacqualine Berger, and Joan Elizabeth Seamans are in contention for the Democratic nomination.

Andrew Gruszka and Edwards Rath are running for the Independence Party nomination.

The 61st District includes the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, and Newstead and the Villages of Akron and Williamsville in Erie County; the Towns of Chili and Riga, the Village of Churchville and part of the City of Rochester in Monroe County; and all of Genesee County.


The 131st Assembly District is currently represented by Republican Rep. Brian Kolb. He announced in February that he would not be running for reelection, less than two months after being arrested for DWI.

Ann Marie Heizmann, Cindy Wade, Jeff Gallahan, and Jeff Shipley are all running for the Republican spot on the ticket.

The 131st Assembly District includes all of Ontario County and parts of Seneca County.


The 134th Assembly District is currently represented by Republican Assemblyman Peter Lawrence, who will not be seeking reelection.

Carolyn Carrol and Dylan Dailor are in contention for the Democratic nomination.

The 134th District includes of Hilton, Spencerport and Greece in Monroe County.


The 136th Assembly District is currently vacant, since Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo, a Democrat, stepped down to run for Monroe County Clerk.

Sarah Clark, Justin Wilcox, and Nelson Lopatin are running for the Democratic nomination.

The 136th Assembly District includes Irondequoit, the east side of the city of Rochester and Brighton.


The 137th Assembly District is currently represented by David Gantt. Gantt has served in the seat since 1983. He announced in February that he would not seek reelection after consulting with his doctor about his health.

Monroe County Legislator Ernest Flagler, union organizer Demond Meeks, previous candidate Ann C. Lewis, and community leader Silvano Orsi are vying for the Democratic primary nomination.

The 137th District includes southwest sections in the City of Rochester as well as the Town of Gates.


The 138th Assembly District is currently represented by Harry Bronson. Bronson has served as Assemblyman since 2010.

Bronson is being challenged by Alex Yudelson, Chief of Staff for Mayor Lovely Warren.

The 138th District includes parts of the City of Rochester and the suburban and rural towns of Henrietta and Chili


The Democratic primary for Monroe County Clerk features Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo, who currently represents the 136th State Assembly seat, and Jennifer Boutte, who serves as the Director Of Development and Community Engagement for CDS Life Transitions.

Voters can determine where their polling location is, check their voter registration status, and learn more about candidates online here.

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