Breaking Down Voter Eligibility Ahead Of August’s Primary, Special Election

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MAYVILLE, NY (WNY News Now) – Am I eligible to vote? That’s a common question for many in Chautauqua County ahead of two elections this month to determine who will be our area’s next Congressman. 

The Chautauqua County Board of Elections are wrapping up final preparations for the election that will be held in two weeks, and doing their best to educate voters on the process itself. 

This election will differ from what many might be used to, as it is considered a double election.

“The difference will be the double election going on, which will confuse people if they’re not used to getting two ballots at one election. We’ll have signage at the doors stating each Republican will get two ballots and all other voters will get one. We’ll try to educate people to the best of our ability, and any outreach we can do we’re going to navigate ourselves through that process,”  explained Republican Election Commissioner, Brian Abram.

In two weeks time on Tuesday, Aug. 23, a special election for New York’s 23rd Congressional District to fill the term of former Congressman Tom Reed who resigned this year. At the same time, a primary election for GOP candidates is also taking place.

“A race for the primary is between Nick Langworthy and Carl Paladino. The special election, which everybody will get, is a race between Max Della Pia and Joe Sempolinski,” said Abram.

Everyone is eligible to vote in the special election, with Republicans seeing two ballots, one for the special and another for the primary. 

Just like any vote in New York State, ballots begin with early voting with sites in Dunkirk, Lakewood, Jamestown, and Mayville. 

“Early voting will start first, Saturday, August 13th will be our kickoff of welcoming everybody to the four poll sites that we have designated for early voting,” said Abram.

Because the elections are taking place in August, a time when many are on vacation, local election officials are having a hard time finding people to work the polls.

“We’re still looking for poll workers to come out to help us out with the election, especially for the general coming up. Please call us, we have training going on right now throughout the county, all of the training dates are on our website. We do need more election inspectors to come out and help us with voting,” explained Democratic Commissioner, Luz Torres. 

 Those with questions about voter eligibility are asked to reach out to local election officials at


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