Primary season kicks off with early voting on Saturday for presidential candidates, in contests that are already essentially over, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have already secured their delegates.

What You Need To Know

  • Early voting for Democratic and Republican presidential primaries begins Saturday. Election Day is Tuesday, April 2

  • Democrats can vote to send delegates in support of Biden to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois

  • President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have secured the delegates needed for their party's nomination

Biden will appear on the ballot alongside Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and lifestyle guru Marianne Williamson; Trump will appear alongside businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. 

“They’ll turn out. There’s no question they want to have their vote registered no matter what,” Councilwoman Gale Brewer told NY1.

Brewer would know. She represents the Upper West Side, a neighborhood known for turning out the vote any time the polls are open.

Brewer is also on the ballot. She petitioned to be one of 11 people voters in that congressional district can send to Chicago as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in support of Biden. It’s a position that Democratic primary voters across the state will see on their ballots. 

“You had people who said, I don’t love the guy, but I really don’t like Mr. Trump. So people signed,” Brewer said. “I was surprised. I was able to collect a lot of signatures as somebody running for delegate.” 

For Republicans, the primary is an opportunity for Trump fans in his old hometown to show their support 

“That’s the American way, and I‘ll be out there. Even though he has my full support and support of Queens County, we’ll be out there voting still,” she said.

Anthony Nunziato, chairman of the Queens Republican Party, said it’s a chance to not only show support for Trump. It can also be an expression of dissatisfaction with Democrats’ policies in New York and nationally. 

“I think everyone around here is totally pushing for Trump. They’re already excited about it, and if you look around the conditions of New York and this country, you see why,” Nunziato said. 

But if there is any question that’s left for voters to answer, it’s how much discontent there is for Biden and his handling of the Israel-Gaza war. 

Left-wing and socialist groups have endorsed a Leave It Blank campaign, which asks voters to turn in blank ballots to protest. 

Unlike other states, there is no “uncommitted” line on the ballot in New York.

“In a sense, it’s frustrating in the same way that New York elections are often frustrating, with a lot of structural things that lead to really low voter turnout,” Alicia Singham Goodwin, political director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, which is instructing members to vote with blank ballots. “It’s still an important way to flex our muscle in the same language that the president and Democratic party understand, which is primary elections.”

Democracy does come at a cost — $25 million in the city for early and Election Day voting, according to the city Board of Elections.