By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
New York State’s – and Otsego County’s – primary elections were Tuesday, June 23, but the results won’t be known for at least a week.
That’s because, due to the coronavirus threat, all Otsego County voters – and all voters statewide – received absentee ballots in the mail, along with a postal return envelope, and many took advantage of the opportunity for absentee voting, avoiding any infection at polling places.
The mailed-in ballots had to be postmarked Tuesday, June 23, and must be received by the county Board of Elections by June 30, when the counting begins, according to Lori Lehenbauer, the Republican elections commissioner.
Statewide, 1,744,931 absentee ballots were mailed out and, even before primary day, 157,885 had been sent back, according to the state Board of Elections, which said it is expecting an “unprece-
dented number of voters.”
Locally, 7,550 ballots were mailed out this year. In 2016, the last year of a presidential primary, 317 came back, according to Mike Henrici, the Democratic elections commissioner. This year, the vote will be “a lot bigger,” he predicted.
In Oneonta and Cooperstown, there were three ballots:
• For the Democratic presidential primary. It included Joe Biden’s name; experts say he already has the nomination wrapped up. But it also includes 10 other names, from Pete Buttigieg to Tulsi Gabbard, all who suspended their campaigns after the filing date. Bernie Sanders’ supporters objected to cancelling the state’s primary, hoping to gain delegates that will give them more leverage at the National Convention Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee.
• For the 19th Congressional District, where Republicans will decide between lawyer Kyle Van De Water of Millbrook and Ola Hawatmeh, a Poughkeepsie native and fashion designer. The winner will challenge
Antonio Delgado, Millbrook, the Democratic freshman, in November. The district includes all or part of 11 counties.
• For the 121st Assembly District, where Democrats were choosing between Oneonta’s Dan Buttermann who is competing with Corey Mosher, a Hamilton farmer. The winner will challenge Republican freshman John Salka of Brookfield in November. The district includes Oneonta, Cooperstown and Richfield Springs, the county’s three largest population centers, plus Madison and part of Oneida counties.
Instead of the 121st ballot, voters in the towns of Morris, Butternuts and Unadilla received the 122nd Assembly District ballot, to decide a four-way Republican primary.
Former Otsego County Board chairman Jim Powers was vying with three other Republicans to succeed Clifford Crouch, Bainbridge, who is retiring.
The other three are Nick Libous of Binghamton, the former state senator’s son; Victor Furman, also of Binghamton, running with support of NaturalGasNow, and Joe Angelino, former Norwich police chief.