Onondaga County Prepares for Two-Phase Primary Onondaga County prepares for dual elections

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said it’s business as usual for the primary election. Well, at least the first one.

“The June primary is not much different than previous years. It’s the August one that’s a brand new primary,” Czarny said. 

For the first time since 2018, New York will hold a two-phase primary, where voters will head to the polls twice in one summer to cast their ballots.

“This is a time period we’ve never had a primary at before. A subset of elections that have never been grouped together in a separate primary before,” Czarny said. 

Before the general election on Nov. 8, there are two key dates to note in Onondaga County:

  • State/local primary (June 28, 2022)
  • Congressional/State Senate primary (Aug. 23, 2022)

Czarny said this carries a lot of uncertainty because the Board of Elections aren’t sure which candidates will be on the August ballots.

“While we’re preparing for one election, we’re also preparing ballot access for another election. There’s a lot of balls in the air at the same time,” Czarny said. 

One key factor in preparing for both elections is the election inspector positions the Board of Elections need to fill. Czarny said they need over 1,000 election inspectors to count the ballots, which is something he’s concerned about heading into the August primary.

“This is not a time period where election inspectors were expected to work. People go on vacation, it’s right before the State Fair. I’m a little worried that we’re going to have some staffing shortages,” Czarny said. 

However, Czarny wants to make sure there aren’t any issues for the voters casting a ballot. He said they’ll do what they can to have a successful election.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t have a plan to fix that. We’re going to tap into our reserves and see what we can do,” Czarny said. 

Some important dates to note for the June primary:

  • Deadline to register to vote is June 3
  • Early voting begins June 18


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