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What You Need To Know About the State Primary on September 13th (Not a Friday; Not a Tuesday; It&#39

As-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

May the Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah (God) Be Upon You

Have you heard a LOT of talk recently about the upcoming Mid-Term Elections occurring on November 6, 2018, insha'Allah (God Willing)? Finally, there is a great deal of talk about it as the country seems to be unraveling at its seams from the drama in Washington DC. Let's not forget that other actions are occurring in many US Departments while we are distracted by the reality show that was elected in 2016. We need to hear more about what the Departments of Justice, Energy, Education and Housing are doing on a daily basis. They are pushing an agenda about which only 39 percent of Americans approve (Gallup, Week of August 6-12). However, locally (and politics IS local), there is an upcoming primary election in New York State that will occur on THURSDAY (not the usual Tuesday given the 2nd day of the Jewish Holiday Rosh Hashana occurring on September 11), September 13th. Makes one wonder, why isn't the election being held the following Wednesday? These are the decisions of the Board of Elections. Fortunately, we live in a nation where a Board of Elections exists and we can vote for those in government. That being the case, how come so low a percentage of the total number of Americans participate in the election process? We claim to be a democracy practicing democratic principles of which the right to vote is at the top of the list!.

Many people don't think the primaries are significant or pay much attention to them at all. They are both significant and worthy of eligible voters to pay attention to. Why? It is the PRIMARY election that identifies the candidates who will be on the ballot and up for the election in the General Election that occurs in November-- Election Day being distinct from primary days as no one gets "elected" from primary elections- they get "selected" for a ballot entry in the General election. In other words, the determinations and opportunity to vote is as important for a primary election as for the actual general election. If the candidate who best represents your values and/or interests does not make the "cut" so to speak from the primary, it's typically over. Think about it: who won the majority of presidential primaries throughout America in 2016 and thus ended up being the GOP candidate up for election on November 8, 2016? Do we remember who the Democratic candidate was as she also went through a primary process all around the country? Albeit a foregone conclusion that she would be the democratic party's candidate hovered around her for years after the 2008 election she fell short on November 8, 2018. Subsequently, that GOP candidate became the current POTUS, while the investigation as to how that really happened has been underway for more than a year. Had anyone else been even close in GOP primary wins nationally, there might have been some other conclusion when the GOP convention took place i.e., his candidacy might have been challenged. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln said it best when he remarked: "Elections belong to the people. It is their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will have to sit on their blisters." Let us remember that President Lincoln gave his life to a Presidency that turned this nation away from slavery (he was also a Republican, but not of the Republican party we have today). Instead, America has a challenged and challenging POTUS in office who acts like a bull in a china shop! Nonetheless, primary victories were part of the process that enabled him to be on the ballot that fateful November 8, 2016. Further, only 58 percent of eligible voters nationally turned up to vote in the Presidential election of 2016. In New York State, 56.2 percent of voters, a ranking of 42nd out of 50 states ( was quite a poor showing when both contenders for POTUS were from this very state. The percentage of registered voters was a tad higher at 60 percent. Do you think that reflects something about the two candidates who were running for President? New York State has the fourth (4th) highest total of registered voters in the nation. For the 2014 mid-term elections, the turnout throughout New York State was just 34.4 percent. In 2014, the GOP gained control of the U.S. Senate. It's been kind of downhill since then. New York state ranked 48th overall in the country so far as voter participation in that election. Why do we not show up to vote?

New York State Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins claimed New York

state has one of the worst voter turnout rates in the country.

There is a saying that goes like this: "Bad Presidents Get Elected By Good Citizens Who Don't Vote."

While the upcoming mid-term elections on November 6, 2018 are deemed by many, many people as the most critical election in the history of the United States, our sights are currently set on the following candidates whose names will be on the ballot for the September 13, 2018 primary (the offices up for election are in bold print):

Gubernatorial (Governor) Race Candidates:

Andrew Cuomo (incumbent)

Cynthia Nixon

Marc Molinaro

Howie Hawkins

Larry Sharpe

Stephanie Miner

Lt. Gubernatorial (Governor) Race Candidates:

Jumaane Williams

Kathy Hochul (incumbent)

Julie Killian

Jia Lee

Andrew Hollister

State Comptroller Race Candidates:

Tom DiNapoli (incumbent)

Jonathan Trichter

Mark Dunlea

Cruger Gallaudet

Attorney General Race Candidates:

Letitia James

Leecia Eve

Sean Patrick Maloney

Zephyr Teachout

Keith Wofford

Michael Sussman

Vincent Messina

Chris Garvey

Mark Diederich

Nancy Silwa

US Senator Race Candidates:

Kirsten Gillibrand (incumbent)

Chele Farley

Aaron Commey

Margaret Trowe

(Schumer is up for election in 2020)

A host of Congressional Candidates (all of them), nationally.

These names (with histories and public records ) represent candidates from all of the parties that will be on the ballot on SEPTEMBER 13, 2018. Of these candidates, the successors will be on the ballot from which to choose a candidate in the general election to be held on November 6, 2018. Some among the current candidates may also be on the ballot if they are granted party lines from other parties.

Here is some Food for Thought for New York voters: It is apparent that Cuomo, the incumbent and current Governor of New York State has Presidential ambitions. A current television commercial states that Cuomo "is going after Trump." The term of the office of Governor is four (4) years. Unless something else happens or re-appears as old news e.g., some former Moreland (Ethics) Commission fallout or something else, Cuomo may become a presidential candidate in 2020. If he were to leave office two (2) years into his four (4) year term, whomever is elected for Lt. Governor this November 6th will become the next Governor of New York State. At this time, one of the five (5) candidates running for Lt. Governor would then become Governor. Among them there is name recognition by those of us living in New York City of at least one of the candidates i.e., New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams (Brooklyn). Kathy Hochul is the incumbent/current Lt. Governor. The other candidates can be googled for information about their public service. If the turnout for the primary is low, New York State at the end of all this i.e., 2020, New Yorkers may also be electing the next Governor of New York on November 6, 2018 in addition to a current Governor. The Lt. Governor race has more to it than what is on the surface. Governor Cuomo first has to be re-elected to have a political platform from which to announce his anticipated presidential candidacy. It is not lost on any of the candidates what is at stake. It should not be lost on the voters either-- another primary reason why everyone who can vote needs to vote on September 13th. More so, everyone who can register to vote now needs to do so by this Saturday, August 18th (postmarked; August 19th, online via the DMV)

The State Comptroller handles the state's coffers (money). The incumbent is DiNapoli. The others want to unseat him. If you think he has been doing an adequate job or if you think someone else would do better, this is an important role in state government. It has become even more important since the current POTUS is threatening to withhold federal funds from the state of New York (why would the current POTUS want to make Cuomo look good unless he was truly committed to the citizens of this country and not self-interests first). Decisions are being made about your tax dollars, state and federal at these levels of government. How they will be spent is determined by individuals who were elected to state offices. First, they were selected to be on the General Election ballot by having participated in the primary election! Have your say about who and how your taxes are spent by being sure to register on time to vote in the September 13th primary election!

New York has watched two (2) former Attorney Generals, the highest legal representative of the State's interest, go down in embarrassing ways (one ascended to Governor before it happened to him). There are ten (10) candidates vying for Attorney General including four (4) women. New York State has never elected a woman for this role. With the exit of Eric Schneiderman, elected in 2014 and removed from office in May, 2018, Barbara Underwood officially became the first woman to serve as Attorney General in New York after she was appointed in a joint legislative session (New York State Assembly and Senate members). Upon her appointment, she announced that she was not interested in running for the office in the 2018 election. She is not a candidate presently (and it is too late to decide to become one). Several of the candidates have name recognition and are outspoken and assertive leaders. You can easily google these candidates for more information about them. In order to vote for any of them, you will have to be registered or re-registered to vote by August 19th online (see more information below).

The primary was already held (on June 26th) for federal congressional candidates. All of these seats that represent all of the congressional districts in the State (actually, the nation) are up for re-election. Do you know who your Congressman/woman is by name? He or she represents your interests at the federal level. It is very likely the incumbent is up for election and there may be challengers on other party lines. Many important decisions occur at the federal level that impact everyone's lives. Do you know that there are many, many people who are not eligible to vote because they have yet to obtain their citizenship? They are legal residents, they pay their taxes and are law-abiding good residents and neighbors. THEY WISH THEY COULD VOTE! You know someone who is in this category-- especially if you live in the borough of Queens in which 43 percent of the residents are from a foreign country and 56 percent speak a language other than English at home (US Census). You can VOTE their interest, too while representing your own

on primary and general election Day!

One New York State U.S. Senate seat is up for election since Charles Schumer or the seat he currently maintains is not up for election until 2020. Senate seats are a six (6) year term. Senator Gillibrand, the incumbent (Upstate New York) is running to keep her seat. Unknown in 2009 when she was appointed for the office following New York State's first woman Senator Hillary Clinton who resigned her senate seat for a 2008 presidential candidacy, Gillibrand has some name recognition now since her pivotal role in the removal of Al Franken (MN Democratic Senator) from office for some embarrassing behavior when he was a comedian years ago. She has a public record that can be located easily on line i.e., Senate votes. Gillibrand was re-elected for office in 2012. Former Senator Clinton, we recall, lost in the primary races against candidate Barack Obama who later became POTUS for two (2) terms. Clinton, won primaries to run for POTUS again in 2016 and was defeated by the current POTUS, Trump. She won the popular vote; he won the Electoral College vote. That is another area of political awareness altogether.

Your VOTE is crucial and is part of your civic duty as an American citizen. Please do NOT sleep on the primary election now that you know of its importance in the electoral process. Do you have children or other family members of voting age? Please encourage them to register so they can become voting citizens, too!

You CAN VOTE if you meet the eligibility criteria to register BY this Saturday, August 18th (postmarked by taking it to the USPS post office) or you can go online if you have a NYS Driver's License/Non-Driver's License Identification Card and complete an online voter registration form that is immediate (you can do this up to August 19th the actual deadline to register).


*** You have changed your name or address since you last voted (update registration no later than 20 days prior to the election);

*** You have not voted in any elections over a number of years (best to check than to have a problem on 11/6/2018). More than 100,000 voters in Brooklyn were purged by the Board of Elections and they found out about it at the polls on November 8, 2016.

Check the status of your registration status online:

Download a Voter Registration Form to complete and mail by August 18th (must be postmarked by August 19):

Register online with valid DMV information by no later then end of August (will process, hopefully by October 12th with your county for the General Election ***Do NOT use this method for Primary election registration-- not enough time; Choose to download from above and MAIL IT by August 18th):

Americans are sitting on a lot of blisters currently (and some don't even know it) We are all a part of the solution!

Please encourage others you know to REGISTER to VOTE!

*** Who Qualifies and can Register to Vote NOW! (Today)

· be a United States citizen;

· be 18 years old by December 31 of the year in which you register (note: you must be 18 years old by the date of the election in which you want to vote (September 13, 2018);

· resident of New York State and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election;

· not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction (formerly incarcerated citizens no longer on parole CAN VOTE!)

· not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court;

· not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

If you are not sure if you meet the qualifications to vote, please reach out to the Board of Elections:

If you are leaving soon for school and will not be available for the primary or general elections, be sure to obtain your absentee voter forms and follow the instructions so your vote will count!

Upon completion, applications must be mailed to your county board no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.

On ELECTION day, make it a point to VOTE!

Your life depends upon it this year in advance of the 2020 elections. Be about it or be without it!!!

We hope you will share this blog post with all of your online contacts, insha'Allah (God Willing) If you would like to volunteer to assist our voter education/registration efforts please feel free to contact SEQMC at 718-663-4644 or use the Contact Us section of this website. All of us can ask others "are you registered to vote?" If not, please encourage them to register ASAP! If they are ineligible to vote for whatever reason, tell them you will vote their interests, God Willing. We need each other in such times as these!

May Allah (God ) continue to reward all of our good efforts.

Note: The South East Queens Muslim Collective (SEQMC), Inc. is providing this information as part of its VOTE! Your Life Depends Upon It Voter Education/Registration Engagement Push. We are not promoting or endorsing any candidate by means of sharing this important information.

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