Time to Get Ready for the Special Election on August 23rd–What You Need to Know

As you are no doubt aware, it’s a big year in a generally perilous age for our democracy.  while we may feel somewhat secure living in a reliably blue state, make no mistake, we are all affected by events taking place on a national level: the radicalization of the Supreme Court (as evidenced by the overturning of Roe and other decisions) and the transformation of the American right wing into an anti-democratic autocratic movement increasingly resorting to terrorism to achieve its aims.  The January 6 Committee hearings are helping to lay bare the seriousness of the situation nationally.

Locally, what have become standard Republican gerrymandering tactics have hit home in Gardiner, when a Republican-dominated Reapportionment Commission recently split our town into two separate Ulster County Legislative Districts. We fought this vigorously and lost. We are now looking into a court challenge, but as it stands now, Gardiner Election District #3 (everything both west of the Wallkill River and north of 44/55) will be in the largely Democratic New Paltz County Legislative District 17 and the rest of Gardiner will be in a new Legislative District 16 with a large portion of Shawangunk.  The result is that it will be very hard to elect a Democrat in District 16 now that all the ED #3 Dems have been surgically siphoned off and grafted onto blue New Paltz.  This is a classic gerrymandering move designed to weaken democracy in Gardiner to advantage Republicans in Shawangunk and the County Legislature.

So, bad stuff happening nationally and bad stuff happening right here in Gardiner.  We need to fight back with our votes, with our volunteer labor, and with our dollars.  Here, specifically, is what we need.

  1.  We need you to VOTE in the Special Election on Tuesday, August 23

When you show up to vote on August 23 (or if you vote early or by absentee), and you are a registered Democrat, you will receive TWO different ballots (all of this, BTW, is because of redistricting, law suits, and redrawn districts post law suit).  One ballot will be for the last four months of Antonio Delgado’s congressional term.  Pat Ryan is running to replace Antonio in the old (actually the current) Congressional District 19 and hold the seat for the Democratic Party.  If Pat wins this race against Republican Marcus Molinaro, he will give up his County Exec. seat and go to Washington to take Antonio’s place without diminishing the slim Dem majority in congress until the end of the year.  Given the aforementioned national situation, that’s very important.  Here is the sample ballot for that race.  We urge you to vote for Pat on Row A, not on the Working Families Party line, but a vote for Pat is a vote for Pat.

The second ballot you receive (again, if you’re a registered Dem) on August 23rd will be for the special Primary Election for the NEW Congressional District 18.  Pat is running against two candidates who got on the ballot (I honestly don’t know anything about them).  Here is the sample ballot for that primary race.  Assuming Pat wins this primary, he will be the Democratic Candidate in November for the new Congressional District 18.

If you choose to vote on Election Day, August 23, go to your regular polling place (either Town Hall or the Firehouse) between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm.  However, many people are still out of town in late August, so here are your options:

VOTE EARLY

Early voting will take place between August 13 and August 21.  The closest early voting location to Gardiner is at the New Paltz Community Center at 3 Veterans Drive in New Paltz.  Other early voting locations are on the BOE website, here.

VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT

If you will be away for all or the whole second half of August, then PLEASE REQUEST AN ABSENTEE BALLOT.  There are multiple ways to obtain an Absentee Ballot.  All the information you need is on the Ulster County BOE’s excellent website, here.

Here are the important dates regarding absentee ballots (from the BOE website)

August 8, 2022 – Last day to postmark, email, or fax application or letter for August 23rd Primary Ballot. Absentee ballot applications must be received by the BOE not later than 15 days before the election.  You may continue to apply for an absentee in person and receive your ballot over the counter through August 22, 2022 by visiting the Ulster BOE at NEW LOCATION: 79 Hurley Avenue, Kingston NY 12401.

August 22, 2022 – Last day to apply in person for Primary Election ballot.

August 23, 2022 – Last day to postmark Primary Election ballot. Must be received by the county board no later than August 30, 2022. Last day to deliver a primary election ballot in person to your county board or your poll site, by close of polls on election day.

IMPORTANT: IF YOU NEED HELP WITH THE ABSENTEE BALLOT PROCESS CALL ME AND ONE OF OUR COMMITTEE MEMBERS WILL CONTACT YOU TO HELP.  Email Tom Kruglinski at chair@gardinerdemocrats.com or call me at (914) 475-3601.

One last thing: changes in NY voting law mean that now, once you request and receive an absentee ballot, you can no longer vote in person early or on election day.  Just FYI.

  1. We need your VOLUNTEER LABOR to get ready for the August 23rd election

Specifically, we need volunteers to help get the vote out for the August 23rd election.   It is such a weird year, and who remembers ever voting in AUGUST???  The concern is that turnout will be very low.  We need high turnout, especially in the CD 19 special election of Pat Ryan against Marcus Molinaro.  So please help.

All volunteering is being done through Pat Ryan’s campaign.  Even if you have just an hour or two to help, please contact the RYAN for CONGRESS campaign by going to the Volunteer Page of Pat’s website and signing up.

  1. Ryan For Congress Yard Signs and Donations

WE HAVE THEM!  If you want one delivered to your address, please contact Tim Hunter at (845) 616-6960 or Tom Kruglinski at (914) 475-3601 and we will deliver.

NO TIPPING IS NEEDED, but if you want to write a check payable to the Gardiner Democratic Committee for any amount to help with our work, we will gladly accept!  You can also donate securely by credit card by going to our website, here.

The Gardiner Democratic Committee has made so far a donation of about a fifth of our treasury to the Ryan campaign, but if you want to donate directly to Pat’s campaign, you can do so by visiting his ActBlue page, here.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND LET ME KNOW IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS!  Enjoy the rest of your summer

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