While 2023 might not be a main event election in New York or the United States, even off year elections have consequences. Choosing not to vote is inherently an inalienable right in the United States. When you make the choice not to vote, you allow other people to decide who speaks for you in government.
New York State Supreme Court Justice
Here in Otsego County and beyond, there are a small number of races that will have big impacts for some years to come. One of the contests you'll see on your ballot is actually a regional one, Deirdre Hay is facing off with Cheryl Insinga for the State Supreme Court Justice spot for the sixth judicial district. The sixth judicial district consists of the counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins.
Local Otsego County Races
Closer to home, one of the most talked about matchups in local political history is about to unfold, and that's the race for Otsego County Clerk. Running as a Democrat is MacGuire Benton, who is going head to head with Republican Jennifer Basile. This is the culmination of a very spirited race that will elect the person who is essentially the keeper of records in the county, and who oversees our local DMV.
Republican incumbent District Attorney John Muehl is running unopposed this year. There are a number of elections on the town level to pay attention to as well. Many town supervisors and board member positions are up for grabs.
Luckily, the Otsego County Board has put a handy dandy guide for you to use before heading out to the polls in the form of sample ballots. Click this link to be taken to the page, and sample ballots are broken down by wards for the City of Oneonta, or by towns if you live outside Oneonta.
Remember, the impact you make on any level is purely up to you. In the words of a longtime New York radio show host: "your influence counts - use it!"