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Elections Defined

What is a Primary Election?

A "Primary Election" is one in which only enrolled members of a party may vote for the purpose of nominating party candidates and electing party officers.  In any election district, if a race is uncontested, no primary is held.

A "Primary Election" is held on the 4th Tuesday in June before every general election unless otherwise changed by an act of legislature.  Polls are open for voting from 6am until 9:00 p.m.

The board of elections canvasses the returns of the primary elections as early as possible within nine days from the day upon which the primary election is held.  The board tabulates the number of votes cast for all the candidates for nomination to each public office or for election to a party position, and the number of votes cast for each such candidate.  The candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be the nominee of his party in the general election for such office or will be elected to a party position.

What is a General Election?

A "General Election" is an election that is being held throughout the state or country on the same day.  The most prominent example is the Presidential election held every four years.  Examples of statewide general elections include races for the New York State Governor and New York State Senators.