This kid wants YOU to vote
This kid wants YOU to vote

Voting may not be all that much fun any more without all those neat-o levers to pull, but this primary season is proving to be a wacky one on the East End. And if you live on the South Fork, it might even involve a pencil!

If you’re a Republican in East Hampton, today is your chance to write in a candidate for town supervisor, because East Hampton Republicans missed the deadline to submit nominating petitions to the Board of Elections earlier this summer, leaving them with no other option than to hold a write-in primary. Current Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson doesn’t want the job anymore. The Democratic candidate, former East Hampton Village Administrator Larry Cantwell, doesn’t want the Republican nomination and has said he will decline it if his name is written in. Mr. Cantwell did accept the Independence and Working Families parties’ nomination.

Southampton Conservative Party members are also preparing for some fun today, after Republican Town Supervisor candidate Linda Kabot successfully challenged their original nominee’s petitions (their nominee’s name has since been forgotten). Ms. Kabot is hoping for enough write-in votes to win the Conservative line, but the party, which doesn’t like her very much, announced last week that they are backing erstwhile Sag Harbor Express and Southampton Press conservative newspaper columnist Phil Keith, a naval aviator with a Harvard degree who served three tours of duty in Vietnam, in a write-in campaign.

The 100 registered Working Families Party members in Southampton also have a chance today to take time off from their long working family days to write in a name on the highway superintendent line, after Republican candidate David Betts forced a write-in primary for the line. Incumbent highway superintendent Alex Gregor’s name will appear on the line at the polls, but there will be space to write in someone else’s name.

All candidates have been cautioned that a ham sandwich could prove a dark horse in any write-in race.

Over in Riverhead, they’re having none of the write-in hijinks that are wreaking havoc on South Fork races. Republicans will spend the day straight-up deciding which two of their three candidates will be on November’s ballot, while Democrats are facing two choices for town supervisor. More information on those races is available here.

If you want to vote in a primary in Southold Town or on Shelter Island, you’re SOL. We’re very sorry. November is coming soon!

The polls are open until 9 p.m.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at

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