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Elections
Coverage from WRVO Public Media on the 2015 election including: races in Syracuse and other parts of central New York, the Southern Tier, Watertown and the North Country, and more.Listen to WRVO online, or catch up on regional political news and more by following the WRVO news department on Twitter.

Watertown prepares for a primary election on a Thursday

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Primary voting day for New York will be held on a Thursday this year instead of the traditional Tuesday. 

This change is important for the city of Watertown. Voters are expected to choose which mayoral candidates will move onto the general election that day. Watertown city officials hope the date switch won’t keep people from the polls.

With two of the Tuesdays in September falling during the Jewish holidays Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur,  Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved changing the primary voting day to Thursday, September 10. 

Jude Seymour, the Watertown election commissioner, says the state has moved the primary date before .

“Obviously when Sheldon Silver was in charge of the New York Assembly he was a big advocate of not requiring Jewish voters to ignore their faith by having to go and vote,” Seymour said.

In 2001, primary day was on Tuesday, September 11. The terrorist attacks caused voting to be postponed. The date was push backed even later because of the Jewish holidays.  Seymour says the change again this year presents a challenge for the city.

“You know we’re just trying to spread the word to people that its on a Thursday because I think most people are accustomed to voting on a Tuesday."

Seymour says every voter should have received a yellow card in the mail with the date of the primary and their polling place. The mayoral race is nonpartisan and  open to all registered voters in the city of Watertown. City council members Joseph Butler and Stephen Jennings will face off with incumbent Jeff Graham in the race for mayor.