Don’t Forget to Vote

A quick rundown of the 2012 ballot

    That Tuesday is a big Election Day came almost as a surprise here this week after Hurricane Sandy swept away power lines and trees, as well as thoughts of the political races. Although voters undoubtedly are focused on the presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, whose names appear at the top of the ballot along with their vice-presidential running mates, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan, the ballot has a long row of slots for many other candidates, many of whom have had little attention.
    Surveying the ballot from one side to the other, the incumbent Democratic senator, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, who also appears on the Working Families and Independence lines, is next in line. Wendy Long, a Republican running with Conservative endorsement, opposes her. The next six slots are for justices of the State Supreme Court, followed by two candidates for County Court judge, one for Family Court, and, then, contests for the House of Representatives and for the State Senate and Assembly.
    The hottest campaigning on the East End has been in the race between the incumbent Democratic representative, Tim Bishop, and Randy Altschuler, who almost defeated him two years ago.
    Mr. Altschuler is on three lines, with Conservative and Independence endorsements, while Mr. Bishop has a second slot for the Working Families Party.
    The only other local race that has won voters’ attention is between the incumbent Republican state senator, Kenneth P. LaValle, who has been in office 36 years, and Bridget Fleming, a first-time challenger, who is a Democrat and Southampton Town councilwoman. They have the same additional party endorsements as the candidates for representative.
    At the tail end of the long ballot, voters may be surprised to find Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. He has Democratic, Working Families, and Independence endorsement without opposition.
    Back at the top of the ballot, voters will find candidates for president and vice president on Green, Socialism, Libertarian, and Common Sense/Constitution Party lines, while President Obama and Vice President Biden appear on the Working Families as well as the Democratic line; Governor Romney and Paul Ryan on the Conservative as well as Republican line. The Independence Party here did not make an endorsement.
    There are no local, county, or state propositions on the ballot this year.