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Polling places will be open for the June 23 primary, but all voters who head to them will need to wear masks. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

Numerous Manhattan incumbent lawmakers are facing challengers in the Democratic party’s primary for statewide and Congressional races in the June 23 primary.

Early voting polls are now open in the contest, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, voters are also being encouraged to utilize absentee ballots. Regular polling places will be open on June 23 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for those who wish to cast their ballots in person; all voters will be required to wear masks or face coverings when voting at polling places.

Regardless of how they vote, each voter will get two ballots: one for the legislative races, and the other for the Democratic presidential primary (more on that below). They should fill out and submit both ballots, according to all instructions.

To find your local polling place or for questions about your absentee ballot, visit vote.nyc. Note: Only registered Democrats are able to participate in the Democratic primary. 

Meanwhile, all four Members of Congress representing Manhattan, along with two state Senators and three Assembly members, are facing challengers in the Democratic primary on June 23. Click the names of each candidate to learn more about their policies from the city’s Campaign Finance Bureau.

Congress

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez of the 7th District, which represents much of Chinatown and the Lower East Side along with parts of Brooklyn and Queens, will look to hold her seat against Paperboy Love Prince, a web designer/rapper from Brooklyn. Velázquez has served in Congress since 1993.

In the neighboring 10th District, Congressman Jerry Nadler is facing two challengers: Lindsey Boylan, former deputy secretary of economic development for New York state; and Jonathan Herzog, a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School. The 10th District, which extends into Brooklyn, covers much of the West Side south of 122nd Street as well as Chelsea, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca and Lower Manhattan.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of the 12th District has three primary competitors: Lauren Ashcraft, previously a data analyst with the Department of Housing and Urban Development; Peter Harrison, an adjunct professor at Baruch College; and Suraj Patel, an attorney and professor. The 12th District includes parts of western Queens covers much of the East Side south of 98th Street and extends into Midtown, the East Village and the Lower East Side.

Finally, Congressman Adriano Espillat of the 13th District is looking to secure another term in Washington representing Harlem, Upper Manhattan and parts of western Bronx. He’s facing two opponents in the primary: author James Felton Keith II and food and beverage manager Ramon Rodriguez

State Senate

One of the two Manhattan state Senate races on the primary ballot includes the 27th District seat held by Brad Hoylman. He’s squaring off against educator Elizabeth Glass. The 27th District covers a large chunk of Midtown Manhattan as well as the East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, Tribeca, Hell’s Kitchen and parts of the Upper West Side.

The other race concerns the 31st District covering Inwood, Upper Manhattan, Washington Heights and the Hudson River waterfront down to the Lincoln Tunnel. Incumbent state Senator Robert Jackson is being challenged by Tirso Santiago Pina. The CFB voter guide has little information on either candidate.

Assembly

Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou is seeking another term in office as representative of the 65th District covering Chinatown, Lower Manhattan and the Lower East Side. She’s being challenged by Grace Lee, co-founder of Children First, an advocacy group battling a toxic cleanup site.

In the 68th District, incumbent Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez is squaring off against small business owner and county committee member Tamika Mapp. The 68th District includes Harlem, East Harlem and parts of the Upper East Side.

Assemblyman Al Taylor is facing a challenge for his 71st District seat from Guillermo Perez. The district covers the Upper Manhattan neighborhoods of Inwood, Hudson Heights, Washington Heights and Sugar Hill. Neither candidate provided information to the CFB.

Finally, the 73rd District primary features incumbent Assemblyman Dan Quart against former journalist and ethics scholar Cameron Koffman. The district covers much of the Upper East Side and Midtown.

There won’t be a primary for the 76th Assembly District seat held by Rebecca Seawright, who was disqualified from the ballot last month for failing to meet filing deadlines. It’s unclear as to who will represent the Democratic Party for the seat in the November general election.

Presidential primary

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden wearing a protective face mask looks on during a visit to the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S. June 1, 2020. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

The off-again, on-again Democratic presidential primary in New York state will be held on June 23. Originally scheduled for April 28, it was first postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then ultimately canceled by the state Board of Elections soon after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign, leaving former Vice President Joe Biden as the party’s last active candidate and presumptive nominee.

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang then took the state Board of Elections to court, arguing that the canceled primary — requested by no candidate — amounted to a violation of voters’ rights. The courts agreed and overturned the board’s decision, allowing the presidential primary to be held on June 23.

The party’s nomination, however, has been decided; last week, Biden secured enough Democratic delegates nationwide to win the party’s nomination outright. Yet the New York presidential primary allows voters to elect delegates for Biden as well as for candidates who have previously dropped out of the race.

Those delegates, if elected by the voters, would have a voice at the Democratic National Convention in shaping the party platform.

Voters will choose their candidate of choice, as well as delegates for a candidate per Congressional district. Click here to see a full list of delegates on the ballot, and the candidate to whom they are affiliated.

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