What Is a Primary Election?

A primary is an election that may take place within each of New York State’s official political parties (i.e. Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Green, Libertarian, Independence, or SAM). It precedes the general election and provides enrolled political party members the opportunity to nominate their party’s candidates for elected office as well as to elect various party officials. For example, three individuals, all members of the same political party, circulated petitions to appear on the November election ballot. A Primary Election is conducted to determine which of these three candidates will represent that position and political party.

However, if there is no contest, there is no primary.