Get ready for November's election in Chester
Interested in throwing your hat in the ring? Petitions may be circulated as early as Feb. 26



Editor's note: The original article incorrectly stated that the ward election was coming up this year. The Chronicle regrets the error.
By Frances Ruth Harris
CHESTER — This November, the Town of Chester has the following open seats on its town board:
Chester Supervisor, four-year term, with Robert Valentine the incumbent
Chester Councilmember, four-year term, currently vacant
Chester Councilmember, four-year term, currently vacant
Chester Councilmember, four-year term, Ryan Wensley, incumbent
Chester Councilmember, four-year term, Cindy Smith, incumbent
Chester Superintendent of Highways, four-year term, Anthony LaSpina, incumbent
Important dates
Deadlines are coming up fast. Candidates will be able to start circulating petitions supporting their candidacy in the 2019 general election on Tuesday, Feb. 26, according to David Green, Republican commissioner at the Orange County Board of Elections.
The dates have been moved up this year by the legislature and the governor, Green said.
Designating petitions must be filed with the Board of Elections, 75 Webster Avenue, Goshen, between April 1 and April 4. The petitions may be picked up weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are also available online at orangecountygov.com/783/Board-of-Elections.
Here are some other important dates:
The primary election is on June 25.
The general election is on Nov. 5.
Early voting, recently approved by the legislature and governor, begins on Saturday, Oct. 26, and ends on Sunday, Nov. 3. People may vote during an eight-hour period on weekdays and during a five-hour period on weekends. The specific times will be announced later.
The Board of Elections will answer questions at 845-360-6500. Anyone with questions may stop in at the Goshen office.
The eight recognized parties in New York appear on the ballot in this order: Democrat, Republican, Conservative, Green, Working Families, Independence, Libertarian and SAM.
Libertarian and SAM received a minimum of 50,000 votes in the last gubernatorial election, making them recognized parties.
Green said elections inspectors are always needed, and encourages anyone to sign up for this important paid — $225 for the day — position.
Ward systemA ward system will be coming to Chester after the Census is completed. It is similar to the way the U.S. Congress is organized, in districts. Voters will pick a candidate running in their own district in the Town of Chester. Up until now, Chester voters picked one or more candidates — depending on the number of open seats — who ran townwide to represent everyone in town.
The winning candidate will serve on the town board as the representative of his or her own district. The supervisor candidates are the only ones everybody in town will have an opportunity to vote for.