In a unanimous vote of 11 of the 15 seated members of the North Greenbush Democratic Committee who were present for a Committee Meeting on September 13, 2010, members approved the use of the Primary system to select Democratic candidates for all town offices and end the caucus system beginning in 2011.
North Greenbush becomes the first and only town in Rensselaer County where Democrats will be chosen on Primary Day instead of a Caucus, the date of which can vary. This vote was taken pursuant to State Election Law Section 6-108 requiring a two thirds majority and will take effect for the September 2011 Primary.
“We believe the time has come to make the selection process of Democratic candidates for town offices as expansive and inclusive as possible, stated Chairman Dan Ashley.
The Committee members felt that the caucus system limits the number of Democrats who can vote by restricting the process to a specific time, and fails to permit absentee voting which excludes those in military service and all absentee voters. In addition, the caucus system fails to protect the Democratic Party endorsement from Republicans who show they stand for nothing but wining by manipulating the electoral process and invading the opposition party’s caucus to hold every party line. This denies voters their right to make a choice at the polls in November serving no one’s interest but the candidate who wants to run without opposition or debate of the issues affecting our town.
The Primary system will provide Democrats in North Greenbush the same expanded voting opportunity that the Republican and other parties currently provide. They will select a Democratic candidate on Primary Day with expanded and more convenient voting hours than the Caucus provides. They will be able to vote absentee for their town candidates just as they can select a President or Member of Congress. Any Democrat who can qualify for the ballot can enter the Primary so that all 2000 registered Democrats in our Town have the opportunity to choose who should represent them at the ballot box in November rather than a couple of hundred who might attend a Caucus.
“I am especially proud that military voters can now participate in the selection of Democratic candidates from North Greenbush to represent our party in November”, stated Ashley who has had three sons in military service as well as his own service.