Your choices impact New York every day. 

Elected officials make decisions that impact jobs, housing, healthcare, education, and more.

That’s why it’s important to not only know who the candidates are, but also what their jobs would be if elected.

What Do Federal Offices Do?

The Senate is the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress. There are 100 members of the Senate, with two from each state. They serve six-year terms.

A bill becomes law when it passes a vote in the Senate and House and is signed by the President.

What they do:

  • Draft, debate, and vote on legislation.
  • Confirm Presidential appointments such as members of the cabinet, Supreme Court justices, and federal judges.
  • Conduct oversight of all branches of government.

Fun fact: 3 former astronauts have served in the Senate (John Glenn, Harrison Schmitt, and Mark Kelly).

The House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress. There are 435 members, with each state represented by a number proportional to their share of the U.S. population. In 2023 New York will have 26 representatives. They serve two-year terms.

A bill becomes law when it passes a vote in the Senate and House and is signed by the President.

What they do:

  • Draft, debate, and vote on legislation.
  • Conduct oversight of all branches of government.

Fun fact: The first quorum of Congress was on April 1, 1789, in New York City.

What Do State Offices Do?

The Governor is the chief executive of New York. They serve four-year terms.

What they do:

  • Sign or veto legislation.
  • Set the state’s yearly budget.
  • Appoint the leaders of state agencies such as the Department of Education
  • Grant pardons and commutations for state offenses

Fun fact: Kathy Hochul became the first woman to serve as Governor of New York in 2021.

The Lieutenant Governor is the second-highest ranking executive in New York behind the Governor. They serve for four-year terms.

What they do:

  • Serve as President of the State Senate.
  • Become Governor if the Governor leaves office before the end of their term.

Fun fact: Mary Anne Krupsak became the first woman to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor in 1975.

The Attorney General is the state's chief legal officer. They serve four-year terms.  

What they do:

  • Guard the legal rights of the citizens of New York, its organizations and its natural resources.
  • Provide legal counsel to the Executive Branch of State government.
  • Oversee the investigations of the New York State Organized Crime Task Force and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Fun Fact: Louis Lefkowitz, a one-time mayoral candidate in NYC, held the office for 22 years. His is the longest tenure since the office was established in 1777.

The Comptroller is New York’s chief fiscal officer. They serve four-year terms.

What they do:

  • Ensure that State and local governments use taxpayer money effectively and efficiently to promote the common good.
  • Administer the state’s retirement system for public employees.
  • Maintain the state's accounting system and payroll.
  • Review State contracts and audits payments.

Fun Fact: The office manages a $258.1 billion public pension plan, one of the largest in the U.S.

The State Senate is the upper chamber of the State Legislature. There are 63 members. State Senators serve two-year terms, with no term limits.

  • Writes and votes on legislation
  • Approves state spending levels
  • Upholds or overrides the Governor’s vetoes
  • Confirms the Governor's appointments of state officials and court judges

Fun fact: On the official Senate seal, Lady Liberty can be seen holding her foot on the overthrown English Crown.

The State Assembly is the lower chamber of the State Legislature. There are 150 members. Members serve two-year terms, with no term limits.

  • Writes and votes on legislation
  • Approves state spending levels
  • Upholds or overrides the Governor’s vetoes

Fun fact: Two U.S. Presidents have served in the State Assembly: Millard Fillmore and Teddy Roosevelt.

Justices of the State Supreme Court oversee large felony and civil cases within their districts. The Supreme Court is the trial court in New York State; the Court of Appeals is the highest court. They serve 14-year terms.

  • Presides over divorce, separation, and annulment proceedings.
  • Handles criminal prosecutions of felonies
  • Decides civil matters over $25,000

Fun Fact: The New York State Supreme Court was established in 1691, making it one of the oldest courts in the United States.

What Do City Offices Do?

The Mayor is the leader of our city government. They serve for 4 years (up to 2 consecutive terms).

What they do:  

  • Propose the city’s budget
  • Sign or veto bills passed by the City Council
  • Appoint leaders to city agencies, including the Schools Chancellor and Police Commissioner 
  • Set priorities and policy for city agencies
  • Manage city land, impacting affordable housing, public parks, and street cleaning

Fun Fact: Robert Anderson Van Wyck was the first Mayor to take office after the 5 boroughs consolidated into the City of New York in 1898.

The Public Advocate is a non-voting member of the New York City Council. They serve for 4 years (up to 2 consecutive terms).

What they do:

  • If the Mayor leaves office, the Public Advocate will act as Mayor until a special election is held
  • Introduce and co-sponsor bills in the City Council
  • Provide oversight for city agencies
  • Investigate citizens’ complaints about city services

Fun fact: The Public Advocate keeps a Worst Landlord Watchlist to help protect tenants.

The Comptroller manages the city’s finances and assures the city’s financial health. They serve for 4 years (up to 2 consecutive terms).

What they do:

  • Audit city agencies and contracts 
  • Prevent abuses in contracting
  • Manage budgets, city investments like trust and pension funds, and bonds
  • Advise the Mayor and City Council on the city’s financial condition

Fun Fact: NYC has an estimated budget of $92 billion, which is more than the GDP of most countries!

The Borough President serves as an advocate for their borough. They serve for 4 years (up to 2 consecutive terms).

What they do:

  • Consult with the Mayor on the annual budget
  • Provide grants to local organizations
  • Advise on rezoning
  • Appoint representatives to the City Planning Commission and Community Boards

Fun Fact: Borough presidents are affectionately referred to as “beeps.”

The City Council is the legislative, or law-making, branch of New York City’s government. There are 51 members. Councilmembers serve for 4 years (up to 2 consecutive terms).

What they do:

  • Introduce and vote on bills
  • Negotiate and approve the City’s budget
  • Monitor city agencies
  • Make decisions about the growth and development of our city 

Fun Fact: In 1937, Genevieve B. Earle became the first woman elected to the New York City Council.

*Council members elected in 2021 will serve a 2-year term. Following the 2020 census, City Council districts will be redrawn to adjust for changes in population. In 2023, candidates will run for a 2-year term in the newly redrawn districts. In 2025, 4-year council terms will resume.

What Do County Offices Do?

The District Attorney is the top prosecutor for their county. They serve for 4 years. There are no term limits.

What they do:

  • Decide which cases to prosecute (and which not to)
  • Oversee all criminal prosecutions
  • Investigate and prosecute criminal conduct

Fun fact: NYC Voters can choose their own DAs! Some states appoint their own without an election.

Civil Court Judges can represent counties or districts, so you may see more than one Civil Court judge on your ballot. Judges are elected to 10-year terms and hear cases including:

  • Civil matters up to $25,000
  • Landlord-tenant matters and cases involving maintenance of housing standards
  • Criminal prosecution of misdemeanors

Fun Fact: The NYC Civil Court is the largest civil jurisdiction court in the United States.

Surrogate Court judges decide cases involving the estates of county residents after their death. They serve terms of 14 years and hear cases including:

  • Cases involving the affairs of the deceased such as wills and the administration of estates
  • Adoptions
  • Guardianships

Fun Fact: The beautiful building where the surrogate court is housed is located in downtown Manhattan and is a popular filming location for movies and tv. It’s designated as a historical landmark.

What Do Party Offices Do?

Delegates to the Judicial Convention choose their party’s nominees for State Supreme Court. The number of delegates you can vote for is determined by your Assembly District. Your ballot will tell you how many Delegates you can select. Delegates are not government officials, but are elected to a position within their political party.

What they do:

  • Attend their party’s Judicial Convention.
  • Choose their party’s nominees for State Supreme Court in the general election.
  • Alternate Delegates are selected in case Delegates are unable to serve (just like alternates on a jury).

State Committee Members represent their Assembly District within state political parties. By law, one male and one female representative are elected in most districts. Committee members serve two-year terms.

What they do:

  • Attend their state party’s convention and annual meetings.
  • Serve as a liaison between their community, local elected officials, city government, and political candidates.

District Leaders help run political parties in each county. At least one male and one female representative is elected to serve within each Assembly District. District Leaders serve two-year terms.

What they do:

  • Work with the city Board of Elections to nominate poll workers.
  • Nominate candidates for judgeships in Civil and Supreme Court.
  • Vote for their party’s leadership and rules.

County Committee Members select county leaders for their political party and their party’s candidates for state special elections. In some boroughs, voters select male and female County Committee Members.

What they do:

  • Select party candidates for state special elections.
  • Vote on county leaders for their political party.
  • Approve the county party’s budget and other internal policies.
Find my representatives

Meet My Current Representatives

Visit this collaboration between CUNY and the League of Women Voters to find out who represents you!

Find my representatives

Key Dates

  • Early Voting

    Sat, June 18, 2022 - Sun, June 26, 2022
  • Absentee ballot request deadline (in person)

    Mon, June 27, 2022
  • Primary Election Day

    Tue, June 28, 2022
  • Deadline to return absentee ballot

    Tue, June 28, 2022