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Monroe County election guide: How and where to vote and who the candidates are

Between presidential, congressional, and statehouse elections, New York has two separate primaries and a general election this year.

And for voters, that means a lot of dates and other information to keep track of. We're here to help, so we’ve laid out the important deadlines and other information around voting.

Am I registered to vote? Who are my candidates?

If you need to check your registration status or find your polling place, start here. This simple online tool will let you find a sample ballot listing your candidates by name, district and party affiliation. It will also tell you if you are already registered to vote or if you need to register.

What's on the ballot

June 25: Primary elections. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. While there is a judicial primary in the city and a slew of primaries for Democratic committee seats, the highest-profile race on the ballot is for a New York state Assembly seat representing neighborhoods on the city's west side and Gates. Incumbent Demond Meeks faces a Democratic primary challenge from Rochester City Councilmember Willie Lightfoot. There's also a Democratic primary contest between Michael Geraci and former Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren for a city court seat. Early voting occurs June 15-23.

Nov. 5: General election. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The presidential race is on the ballot as are contests for the 25th Congressional District, all state Assembly seats, all state Senate seats, Monroe County clerk, and a few local races. Early voting takes place from Oct. 26 through Nov. 3.

A list of all early voting sites can be found on the Monroe County Board of Elections website, monroecounty.gov/elections-earlyvoting.

General Election Ballot Measures

Early last year, state lawmakers passed the Equal Rights Amendment for the second consecutive legislative session, and it was supposed to be on the ballot this November. However, a state court in May struck it down. State Attorney General Letitia James is appealing the decision.

The New York Civil Liberties Union says the amendment would prohibit discrimination by the state government on grounds of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, creed, religion, or sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive health care and autonomy.

It would also establish a constitutional right to abortion in New York.

The state has similar anti-discrimination laws on the books as well as laws protecting abortion access. But supporters say the constitutional amendment is necessary to shield those rights and protections from “shifting political winds.

Some oppose the measure because of the abortion rights provision, and they’ve cited concern about transgender athletes playing on girls' sports teams.

How to Vote

You can cast your ballot in person at your assigned polling place on Election Day. During the early voting period (see above for dates), you can do so at any of the polling sites. If you qualify, you may also request an absentee ballot.

The 2024 elections will be the first in which New York has early mail-in voting. Voters can request a mail-in ballot from the state Board of Elections or their county Board of Elections up to 10 days before an election. They'll have to mail them back, bring them to an early voting site, submit them to the County Board of Elections, or bring them to a polling site in the county by 9 p.m. on the day of the election.

Voter registration deadlines

  • Feb. 14: The last day for voters to change their party enrollment ahead of the primaries. If a voter submitted any changes after that date, they'll take effect July 5. 
  • June 10: The last day for voters to change their ADDRESS ahead of the June 25 primary.
  • June 15: The last day for voters to REGISTER ahead of the June 25 primary.
  • Oct. 21: The last day for registered voters to change their ADDRESS before the general election.
  • Oct. 26: The last day to REGISTER ahead of the general election.

Mail-in voting deadlines

  • June 15: The last day most voters can apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot.
  • June 25: The date by which all absentee and mail-in ballots must be postmarked.
  • Oct. 26: The last day to apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot for the general election.
  • Nov. 5: The date by which all absentee and mail-in ballots must be postmarked.

Here's what to do if your ability to vote is challenged

The Monroe County Board of Elections recommends that voters request an affidavit ballot if they report to their polling sites but are told they aren’t on the list of eligible voters.

Voters complete those ballots on the spot, and the Board of Elections later checks them against its records to determine whether those individuals were eligible to vote.

The state Attorney General's Office also operates an Election Protection Hotline during early voting and on election days. The volunteers who staff it can work with local Boards of Election to troubleshoot or resolve issues. That number is (866) 390-2992, and voters can also submit complaints online at electionhotline.ag.ny.gov.

United States Senate Candidates

Kirsten Gillibrand
Party Lines: Democratic
Place of Residence: Albany
Age: 57

Campaign Site

Gillibrand has served as the U.S. senator for New York since 2009. She previously served one term in the House of Representatives.

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U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Mike Sapraicone
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Oyster Bay
Age: 67

Campaign Site

Sapraicone founded a company that provides security services to businesses. He retired from the New York Police Department as a detective.

Election candidate bio photos
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New York House of Representatives Candidates

New York's 25th Congressional District

District Map

Joe Morelle
Party Lines: Democratic, Working Families
Place of Residence: Irondequoit
Age: 67

Campaign Site
Facebook

Morelle is the incumbent House Representative for the 25th District, and a former Assembly majority leader.

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Gregg Sadwick
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Penfield
Age: 58

Campaign Site
Facebook

Sadwick is the owner and operator of Solid Surfaces and Flower City Collision.

Election candidate bio photos
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State Legislature: Senate and Assembly

New York’s legislative branch comprises the Senate and the Assembly. Think of them the same way you would the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

New York State Senate

The primary purpose of the 63-member Senate, the upper house in New York’s legislature, is to oversee the state’s purse. The includes shaping and approving the state’s budget, which is $237 billion for the current fiscal year. The budget covers everything from school aid and state agency operations to local infrastructure projects and, this year, changes in state alcoholic beverage laws.

The Senate’s other fundamental purpose is to draft laws intended to address the needs and concerns of communities they represent.

In other words, the legislative branch touches every aspect of New Yorkers’ lives.

Senators serve two-year terms and are paid $142,000 a year plus per diems and leadership stipends.

New York State Senate Candidates

New York's 54th Senate District

Scott Comegys
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Palmyra
Age: 52

Campaign Site
Facebook

Comegys was facilities manager at Strong Memorial Hospital. He's the Wayne County Democratic Committee chair and runs an alpaca farm.

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Pam Helming
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Canandaigua
Age: 62

Campaign Site

The incumbent 54th District senator experience in regulatory affairs, land use planning, and managing group homes, and has worked for over 30 years in commercial property management.

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New York's 55th Senate District

Samra Brouk
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 38

Campaign Site
Facebook

Brouk currently serves as the 55th District senator. She's worked in nonprofits and fundraising for startup companies.

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Luis Martinez
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Pittsford
Age: 75

Campaign Site

Before running for the 55th District senate, Martinez had a 40-year career in human resources.

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New York's 56th Senate District

Jeremy Cooney
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 42

Campaign Site
Facebook

The incumbent 56th District senator has held several positions in government, philanthropic fundraising, and public strategy.

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James VanBrederode
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Gates
Age: 60

Campaign Site
Facebook

VanBrederode is the retired Gates police chief.

Election candidate bio photos
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New York's 62nd Senate District

Robert Ortt
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: North Tonawanda
Age: 45

Campaign Site
Facebook

The incumbent 62nd District senator is leader of the chamber’s Republican minority and the mayor of North Tonawanda. He is a veteran who works as a personal financial analyst.

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New York State Assembly

The primary purpose of the 150-member Assembly, the lower house in New York’s Legislature, is to oversee the state’s purse. That includes shaping and approving the state’s budget, which is $237 billion for the current fiscal year. The budget covers everything from school aid and state agency operations to local infrastructure projects and, this year, changes in state alcoholic beverage laws.

The Assembly’s other fundamental purpose is to draft laws intended to address the needs and concerns of the communities they represent.

In other words, the legislative branch touches every aspect of New Yorkers’ lives.

Assemblymembers serve two-year terms and are paid $142,000 a year plus per diems and leadership stipends.

New York State Assembly Candidates

New York's 130th Assembly District

Brian Manktelow
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Lyons
Age: 60

Campaign Site

The incumbent 130th District Assemblymember is a veteran who owns and operates Manktelow Farms in Lions.

Election candidate bio photos
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James Schuler
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Palmyra
Age: 55

Campaign Site
Facebook

Schuler is the assistant director of Youth Advocate Programs, a nonprofit that provides services as alternatives to youth incarceration, congregate child welfare, behavioral health and intellectual disabilities placements.

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New York's 133rd Assembly District

Andrea Bailey
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Geneseo
Age: 51

Campaign Site

Bailey is the Livingston County clerk and a former Geneseo Town Board member. She's worked in retail management.

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Colleen Walsh-Williams
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Avon
Age: 55

Campaign Site

Walsh-Williams has held positions in several state departments. She has served as an elected union leader and as the Public Employees Federation's Rochester regional director. She also served two terms on the Red Creek Central School Board.

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New York's 134th Assembly District

District Map

Joshua Jensen
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Greece
Age: 36

Campaign Site
Facebook

Jensen is the incumbent 134th District Assemblymember. A former Greece Town Board member, Jensen has worked in several public relations positions.

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New York's 135th Assembly District

Kimberly DeRosa
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Penfield
Age: 47

Campaign Site

DeRosa has a background in management and human resources and homeschooling.

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Jen Lunsford
Party Lines: Democratic, Working Families
Place of Residence: Penfield
Age: 42

Campaign Site
Facebook

Lunsford is the incumbent 135th District Assemblymember. As an attorney, she handled personal injury, workers' compensation, and Social Security disability matters.

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New York's 136th Assembly District

Sarah Clark
Party Lines: Democratic, Working Families
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 50

Campaign Site
Facebook

Clark is the incumbent 136th District Assemblymember, and a former aide to Sens. Kirsten Gilibrand and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Orlando Rivera
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 47

Campaign Site

Rivera is a licensed real estate professional.

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New York's 137th Assembly District

Willie Lightfoot
Party Line: Democratic
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 51

Campaign Site

Lightfoot is a current member of Rochester City Council and a former Monroe County legislator. He is a licensed barber and owner of New Creations Unisex Shop and a retired firefighter and U.S. Air Force veteran.

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Demond Meeks
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 45

Campaign Site

The incumbent 137th District Assemblymember was the administrative organizer for 1199 SEIU.

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Marcus Williams
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 42

Twitter
Facebook

Williams is an entrepreneur.

Election candidate bio photos
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New York's 138th Assembly District

Harry Bronson
Party Lines: Democratic, Working Families
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 65

Campaign Site

The incumbent 138th District Assemblymember is a former Monroe County legislator and formerly owned Equal Grounds coffee shop with his husband.

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Tracy DiFlorio
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Chili
Age: 60

Campaign Site

DiFlorio has been a Monroe County legislator since 2016. She was a former Chili Town Board member and works as a Quality Systems training specialist at Bausch + Lomb.

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New York's 139th Assembly District

Steve Hawley
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 77

Campaign Site

The incumbent 139th District Assemblymember owns a property and casualty insurance agency. Hawley is the former owner and operator of a farm.

A smiling man with short grey hair wearing a grey blazer with a checked pattern and a pin, a blue collared shirt, and a blue tie with a white pattern. He is sitting in front of an American flag.
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New York State Assemblymember Stephen Hawley

Monroe County Clerk

The Monroe County Clerk’s Office has a lot of responsibilities, but it’s easiest to think of its staff as the county’s recordkeepers and the office as a repository for all kinds of very important documents.

It holds records of deeds going back to the days before Rochester was a city and Monroe County was incorporated. It accepts pistol permit applications and keeps issued permits on file. And it operates Department of Motor Vehicles offices around the county on behalf of the state.

It also serves as a passport agent for the federal government and keeps doing-business-as, or DBA, filings on file.

Those are just some of the things the office does. Much of it is not controversial, but when issues do flare up, they tend to be around pistol permits, the locations and hours of the DMV offices, and how the office handles sensitive personal information.

The county clerk serves a four-year term and is paid $115,000.

Monroe County Clerk Candidates

Jamie Romeo
Party Lines: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Irondequoit
Age: 39

Campaign Site
Facebook

Romeo was appointed as county clerk in February 2020, elected to a four-year term that November. Before that, she served in the state Assembly for a little over a year, as chair and executive director of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, and as a legislative aide in the state Senate and county Legislature.

Candidate bio photo
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Peter Vazquez
Party Lines: Republican, Conservative
Place of Residence: Henrietta
Age: 51

Campaign Site
Facebook

Vazquez was host of "Next Steps" show on WYSL, former executive director of an affordable housing complex, former teacher at Charles Finney School and former adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan, and a disabled veteran.

Election candidate bio photos
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Ann Lewis
Party Line: Monroe County Integrity Party
Place of residence: Rochester
Age: 66

Facebook

Lewis works as a special education teacher in the Rochester City School District and she previously worked for 16 years as a rehabilitation counselor at the Monroe County Jail.

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Rochester City Court Judge

Rochester City Court, like other municipal courts, handles both civil and misdemeanor criminal cases.

The judges preside over arraignments and criminal trials, small claims matters, dangerous dog hearings, code enforcement cases, and much more. They also handle eviction cases and other landlord-tenant matters; in Rochester, those are heard in the court's Housing Part. City Court, unlike its suburban counterparts, does not handle traffic violations.

Rochester City Court judges serve 10-year terms and are paid a $113,900 annual salary.

The two candidates in the race will square off in a Democratic primary.

Rochester City Court Judicial Candidates

Michael Geraci
Party line: Democrat
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 38

Campaign Site
Facebook

Geraci has worked as an attorney for 12 years. He opened his own practice, Geraci Law Offices, in 2018, and before that was an associate at Trevett Cristo Salzer Andolina.

A smiling man with short brown hair wearing a blue blazer, a white collared shirt, and a blue tie with white polka dots
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Michael Geraci

Lovely Warren
Party Line: Democrat
Place of Residence: Rochester
Age: 46

Campaign Site
Facebook

Warren opened her own law practice in 2022. Before that, she served two terms as Rochester mayor, was City Council president, and served as counsel and chief of staff for the late Assemblymember David Gantt.

Headshot of Lovely Warren
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Monroe Family Court Judge

Family Court judges hear matters involving children and families.

Cases within their jurisdiction include adoptions, guardianship, foster care approval and review, juvenile delinquency and Persons in Need of Supervision, domestic violence matters, child protective proceedings around abuse and neglect, termination of parental rights, custody and visitation of children, and child support.

Family courts do not grant divorces in New York. That power falls to the state Supreme Court.

Like other judicial candidates, the people seeking Family Court seats face tight restrictions on how they can campaign. In New York, judicial candidates are generally not permitted to be involved in political activities, except for in a limited capacity to advance their own candidacy.

They also cannot personally solicit or accept campaign contributions; that type of activity must occur through a committee selected by the candidate. They also are not allowed to make pledges or promises regarding how they would decide matters before them, and they are not allowed to endorse other candidates.

Most judicial candidates stick to emphasizing their work history as they try to convince voters they are the best choice. They can discuss their opponents' qualifications, but are required to be truthful in doing so.

Family Court judges serve 10-year terms and make an annual salary of $221,100.

Monroe Family Court Judicial Candidates

Ella Marshall

Party line: Democrat, Working Families
Place of Residence: Irondequoit
Age: 47

Campaign Site
Facebook

Marshall is currently a self-employed attorney. She worked for seven years as an attorney for the child at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, five years as an assistant district attorney in the Child Abuse bureau and just under a year as deputy county attorney in the Child Services Unit.

 Headshot of Ella Marshal
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Corrected: June 6, 2024 at 3:03 PM EDT
This story has been modified to more accurately characterize the June primaries.