Election day is now underway, and the masses are attending the polls as we speak. While congressional races are being conducted across the nation, the New York races will be especially exciting to watch.
For all of the New Yorkers reading, you can find out where and when to vote on the New York Board of Elections website. Polls opened in the Empire State this morning at 6am and will close tonight at 9pm EST.
One race is the lopsided Senate battle between Democratic incumbent Kristen Gillibrand and Republican Wendy Long. The latest poll has Gillibrand securing a strong average lead of 66.3% to Long’s 23.3%. For being one of the bluest states in the nation, it looks as though the Democrat has this race well under control.
Another race to watch is the congressional seat for New York’s 18th district, with Republican incumbent Nan Hayworth and Democrat Sean Maloney. Maloney has received much criticism for allegedly lying about his residency. While he claims his main residency is in the Hudson Valley area of the district, voting records indicate that he lives in an upscale apartment in Manhattan. Hayworth has also criticized her opponent in ads, for his ties to Eliot Spitzer during his infamous prostitution scandal. Maloney has fired back at Hayworth, criticizing her affiliations with Tea Party members.
As of last week, Siena released a poll that gave Hayworth a 7-point lead over her opponent. There are still several hours left in the race, so those numbers may be subject to change.
The 21st district race is also very close. The rival candidates include Democrat Bill Owens and Republican Matt Doheny. It is one of the largest districts in the state, and has been predominately Republican. However the latest Siena poll shows Owens leading his opponent by one point, making this race a toss up.
Several counties in New York State have been devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, especially Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island. Governor Andrew Cuomo has responded to state of emergency and has signed an executive order to extend the deadline for absentee voting. Absentee ballots have now been extended from 7 days after Election Day to 13 days. New York residents must have had their ballots postmarked no later than yesterday, November 5. In addition, a local board of elections office must receive the ballots no later than November 19 in order to be counted.
These are the key races in New York State to watch today, so New Yorkers, get out and vote!