What to know about voting in New York presidential primary

A rundown of candidates, voting eligibility and polling locations


The New York presidential primary may be many students’ first opportunity to vote in a major U.S. election.

Before heading out to vote, there are a few things voters should know about the process.

The New York primary on April 19 will determine how many delegates each candidate will be allotted from the New York state election. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump currently has 756 delegates while Ted Cruz and John Kasich have 559 and 144, respectively. Republicans need 1,237 delegates to receive their party’s nomination, according to Real Clear Politics. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has 1,758 delegates, while Bernie Sanders has 1,076. Democrats need 2,383 delegates.

Here is what voters need to know if you plan on voting at your local polling location this Tuesday.

  • New York is a “closed primary” state. In order to vote in a presidential primary, voters must already be affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic party.
  • The deadline for new voters was March 25 and the deadline to change one’s party was in October. U.S. citizens can still vote in the general presidential election regardless of their party affiliation.
  • Students who do not live in Erie County that have not yet applied for an absentee ballot will be ineligible to vote in the primary.
  • Any voter wishing to vote in their party’s primary must show proof of citizenship upon arrival.
  • The Erie County Board of Elections will open polling locations at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Erie County is one of eight counties in New York to open at 6 a.m. Polling locations in other New York counties will not open until noon.
  • Trump, Cruz and Kasich will each be on the voting ticket for Republicans. Ben Carson will also be on the ticket even though he has dropped out of the race. Carson failed to file the necessary paperwork with New York’s board of elections.
  • There will be 95 Republican delegates available in New York, according to Real Clear Politics.
  • The Democratic ballot isn’t as straightforward. Sanders and Clinton will be on the Democratic voting ticket. There will be 291 Democratic delegates up for grabs. Depending on the district, voters will also be asked to vote for delegates for the Democratic convention in July.

Evan Schneider is special to The Spectrum and can be reached at news@ubspectrum.com