Photo taken in Narrowsburg by Linda Slocum and Tony Ritter. Tony, a Tusten town councilman -- and Delaware River fishing guide -- tells us, "Those stumps with V-O-T-E were sawed from an 80 foot pine that snapped at the base during Sandy last Monday night." Reproduced with permission.
On Tuesday, November 6, the nation goes to the polls.
While all eyes may be on this year's presidential election, it's a momentous year for New York State as well -- the first year for newly-redrawn districts at the Congressional level as well as the state Senate and Assembly.
The Catskills region, once split up by Congressional district lines, is now united in the 19th Congressional District, which Republican incumbent Chris Gibson and Democrat Julian Schriebman are battling tooth and nail to represent.
On the state Senate level, some races are hotter than others. In the new 42nd Senate District, longtime incumbent John Bonacic's district borders may have shifted, but not enough to put a challenger on the ballot. Meanwhile, the race in the new 46th, between Republican George Amedore and Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk, is neck-and-neck, the Times-Union reports.
Although it's not a local election year, there are a few hotly fought races on the town level as well. For instance, there's Prattsville, a tiny town with more than its fair share of political drama. Last November, Alan Huggins narrowly beat incumbent Kory O'Hara for the supervisor's post, then abruptly resigned before even taking office. O'Hara was appointed to fill the slot, and now faces town councilman Greg Cross in a special election.
In Sidney -- another little town whose politics are anything but sleepy -- five candidates are vying for two slots on the town council.
And in Neversink, a town that's been dry for 77 years, Eureka Market owner Jennifer Grimes is spearheading a ballot initiative to allow alcohol sales in restaurants, after a broader liquor sales proposition failed in 2010.
Catskills Vote: Our guide to elections in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties
With much of the greater New York City area still in chaos in the aftermath of Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Monday declaring that any resident of Nassau, Rockland, Sulffolk or Westchester County, or of New York City, may cast an affidavit ballot at any polling location in the state. Voters casting affidavit ballots will only be able to vote in local races if they choose a polling place where the local races in their home district are on the ballot.
Two local polling places, both in Sullivan County, have been changed as a result of Sandy-related power outages. The polling place at Willowemoc Baptist Church in the Town of Neversink has been moved to the Neversink fire house on Route 55, and the polling place at the Town Hall in Forestburgh has been moved to the Forestburgh fire house on Route 42.
A few helpful links:
Local boards of elections will be broadcasting election results on Tuesday evening as they receive information.
To see maps of New York State's new legislative districts, go to the website of New York State's Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).
We will be using the hashtag #CatskillsVote on Twitter to keep track of what's happening at local polling places. If you have a photo or an account of what's happening at your poll to share, please keep us posted by using the hashtag or emailing us at [email protected].
Below: A spreadsheet showing which races will be on the ballot across the Catskills region, organized by county. For more information on specific races, click the links above for lists of candidates in each race.