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Editorial: Essential that you vote on primary day

Voters cast ballots at the Lindell Elementary School

Voters cast ballots at the Lindell Elementary School in Long Beach. (Nov. 5, 2013) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Go out and vote Tuesday.

Then do it again Sept. 11.

There are primary elections both days -- for congressional races Tuesday, and state races in the fall. Why two primary days rather than one, which would cost less and likely increase voter turnout?

The die was cast in 2012 when a federal judge ruled that congressional primaries in September leave too little time to get absentee ballots for the November general election to military voters overseas. So the fourth Tuesday in June is the date for all federal, nonpresidential primaries.

The State Legislature should have moved the primary for state offices to that day, too. With legislative sessions ending in June, members insisted that an incumbent facing a primary challenge would be torn between doing the job and running to keep it. Voters shouldn't let that self-serving inaction keep them from going to the polls in September.

Some congressional primaries Tuesday have been red-hot slugfests and others barely got on the radar.

In the 1st Congressional District, Lee Zeldin and George Demos are battling for the Republican nod to face Democratic incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop. There are no intraparty contests in the 2nd CD.

In the 3rd CD, represented by Democrat Steve Israel, Grant M. Lally and Stephen A. Labate are vying for the GOP nomination.

In the 4th CD, Democrats Kathleen M. Rice and Kevan M. Abrahams, and Republicans Bruce A. Blakeman and Frank J. Scaturro, are running to succeed incumbent Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who is retiring. In the Conservative primary, voters can select Blakeman or a write-in candidate.

In the 5th CD, Democrat Joseph R. Marthone is challenging Democratic incumbent Rep. Gregory W. Meeks.

Voting is not made easy for New Yorkers. But it's still essential that we do so.