Decision 2020: Voter Guide


Voting in 2020 via absentee ballot has been made easier in New York State, with the ability to request the ballot online. Find out how to make your voice heard this year with our guide to voting on the East End.

Important dates

October 9
New registrations must be postmarked at the latest and received by October 14.

To register to vote by mail, download the application at and mail it to the Suffolk County Board of Elections at the following address:

Suffolk County Board of Elections
PO Box 700
Yaphank, NY 11980

October 24–November 1
In-person voting begins in New York at the following locations on the East End:

Windmill Village
219 Accabonac Road
East Hampton NY 11937

Stony Brook Univ. Southampton Campus
70 Tuckahoe Road
Southampton NY 11968

Riverhead Senior Center
60 Shade Tree Lane
Aquebogue NY 11931

Southold Senior Center
750 Pacific Street
Mattituck NY 11952

For times visit the website.

October 27
Absentee ballot applications must be postmarked at the latest. To request an absentee ballot visit and mail in the form.

November 3
Election Day, polls are open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. To find your polling location, visit the poll site locator online at Polling sites may change due to COVID-19.

A sample ballot for Southampton Town voters. (Click to view full-size image.)

*Indicates incumbent

President and Vice President

Joseph R. Biden and Kamala D. Harris, D, WF
*Donald J. Trump and Michael R. Pence, R, C
Howie Hawkins and Angela Nicole Walker, Green
Jo Jorgensen and Jeremy Cohen, Libertarian Brock Pierce and Karla Ballard, Indpendence

New York State Supreme Court District 10
Vote for Any Eight

Kathy G. Bergmann, D, R, C, I
Randy Sue Berler, D, R, C
Patricia M. Blake, I
Bryan L. Browns, I
Valerie M. Cartright, D, R, C, I
Joseph R. Conway, D, R, C
Gary F. Knobel, D, R, C
Randy Sue Marber, R, D
*Timothy P. Mazzei, D, R, C, I
Erica L. Prager, D, R, C
Derrick J. Robinson, D, R, C, I
Evan Tanenbaum, I

The 10th District of the New York State Supreme Court is one of 13 judicial districts in New York, which includes Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Judges are elected to 14-year terms.

Bergmann, 64, is currently a Suffolk Family Court judge, elected in 2016. The Speonk resident has 24 years of experience as a litigator in private practice. She also was previously a principal law clerk in the New York State Court of Claims.

Berler is a law clerk for Bergmann in Family Court.

Cartright, 44, of Port Jefferson Station is the only Democrat on the Brookhaven Town Board, but has been cross-endorsed for the state Supreme Court justice seat. A civil rights attorney, she was tapped for the position after a failed bid for the Democratic nomination to run for State Senate in June.

Conway, 61, of Williston Park is a defense attorney with LaRusso, Conway & Bartling, who previously served as Assistant United States Attorney for more than 14 years, including chief of the Long Island criminal division and senior trial counsel.

Knobel, 66, was elected to the Nassau County District Court in 2005 and won reelection in 2011, but was unseated in 2017. Knobel, an Oceanside resident, is a Republican endorsed by also Democrats and Conservatives.

Marber, 60, of Oyster Bay has served as a Nassau County District Court Judge and Nassau County State Supreme Court Judge..

Mazzei is a sitting state Supreme Court justice since 2015. He is a former Suffolk prosecutor, once in charge of the homicide bureau. Mazzei, 66 of Blue Point, served on the Brookhaven Town Board for 11 years before taking the bench. A Republican, he is cross-endorsed.

Erica L. Prager, 57, of Great Neck, is a judge for the District Court of Nassau County, first elected in 2002. A Democrat, she is cross-endorsed.

Robinson, 69, is an Acting Suffolk County Court Judge who presides over the Drug Court and the Mental Health Court. He was an Assistant Attorney General, appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Office of the Attorney, and worked out of the Nassau County regional office. A Democrat, he is cross-endorsed.

Tanenbaum, 55, of Port Jefferson, is the principal law clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice Andrew A. Crecca. He was in private practice from 1991 to 2017. A Republican, he is running on the Independence Party line.

Suffolk County Court Judge
Vote for Any Two

*James C. Hudson, D, R, C, I
*Stephen L. Braslow, D, R, C, I

Suffolk County Family Court Judge
Vote for Any Two

*Caren Loguercio, D, R, C, I
James W. Malone, D, R, C, I

Malone, who lives in Great River, was elected a district court judge in 2018. He had served in the New York State Supreme Court as a principal law clerk to Judge William J. Condon from 2014 to 2017 and was previously the senior deputy county clerk and director of finance to County Clerk Judith A. Pascale. A Conservative, he is cross-endorsed.

Loguercio, a Family Court judge since 2010, is seeking another 4-year term. She is a Republican who is cross-endorsed.

Representative Lee Zeldin is looking for a fourth term in Congress, while Nancy Goroff makes a first-time run for the position.

New York Congressional District 1
Vote for Any One

Nancy S. Goroff, D, WF
*Lee M. Zeldin, R, C, I

Goroff, who won a closely contested Democratic primary in June, is a scientist from Stony Brook. She taught for 23 years at Stony Brook University, where she was the chair of the chemistry department. She took a leave-of-absence last year to campaign full-time. If elected, Goroff, 52, will be the first female PhD scientist ever to serve in Congress.

Representative Zeldin, a Shirley resident, is seeking his fourth term in Congress. He spent four years on Active Duty with the U.S. Army and was deployed with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division to Iraq in 2006, before returning to establish a law practice in Smithtown. Zeldin, 40, is now in the Army Reserve, where he holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. Zeldin serves on the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees, along with five House subcommittees. He is one of two Jewish Republicans in Congress and serves as co-chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus. A strong supporter of President Trump, he spoke this year during the Republican National Convention.

Laura Ahearn and Anthony Palumbo are running for the State Senate seat long held by Senator Kenneth LaValle.

New York State Senate District 1
Vote for Any One

Laura A. Ahearn, D, Protect the Taxpayer
Anthony H. Palumbo, R, C

Ahearn and Palumbo will square off for a seat held by retiring Senator Kenneth LaValle since 1976. A Port Jefferson resident, Ahearn, 56, is a licensed attorney and social worker with over 20 years of crime victim advocacy experience. She founded Crime Victims Center, also known as Parents for Megan’s Law, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse and rape. Palumbo, a New Suffolk resident, is the sitting 2nd District Assemblyman, representing the North Fork and a portion of Brookhaven Town. Palumbo, 50, was first elected in 2013, after serving as a Suffolk Assistant District Attorney, where he worked as the trial supervisor for the East End towns and prosecuted major crimes and drug traffickers.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

New York Assembly District 1
(East Hampton, Southampton and Shelter Island Towns)
Vote for Any One

Heather C. Collins, R, C
*Fred W. Thiele Jr., D, I

Thiele, 67, of Sag Harbor, is looking for his 14th term in the New York State Assembly. Most notably, he authored legislation to create the Community Preservation Fund, a 2% real estate transfer tax to make funds available for land preservation and water quality protection, which has generated more than $1.4 billion and preserved more than 10,000 acres of land.

Collins, an East Quogue resident who has worked at the Suffolk County Board of Elections, unsuccessfully ran against Thiele in 2014 and 2016. She also tried to unseat Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming in 2017. She is not actively campaigning.

From left, Jodi Giglio, Laura Jens-Smith, and William Van Helmond are vying for the second district Assembly seat.

New York Assembly District 2
(Southold and Riverhead Towns)
Vote for Any One

Jodi A. Giglio, R, C, I
Laura M. Jens-Smith, D, WF
William C. Van Helmond, LBT

Giglio is looking to succeed Anthony Palumbo, who is seeking the First Senate District seat. serving her third four-year term on the Riverhead Town Board. She also has experience in the private sector, owning a small business.

Jens-Smith, a resident of Laurel, was the first woman elected  Riverhead Town Supervisor in 2017 when she unseated longtime Republican supervisor Sean Walter. She ran for the position after six years on the Mattituck-Cutchogue Board of Education, where she also served as president for two years. Jen-Smith, 57, lost a bid for a second term by Republican Yvette Aguiar in 2019. Before getting into public office, she worked as a cardiac care and recovery room nurse.

Van Helmond, a 57-year-old Jamesport resident, is a business owner for 39 years. He has been on the board of the North Fork Chamber of Commerce, treasurer of the North Fork Promotional Council, member of the Mattituck Lions, member of  the Riverhead  Chamber of Commerce, and past president of the Greater Jamesport Civic Association. He has been a member of EPCAL Watch and spoke out against the sale of EPCAL. He also serves as a Eucharistic minister.

Patrick Gunn is trying to unseat Southampton Town Justice Karen Sartain.

Southampton Town Justice Court
Vote for Any One

*Karen M. Sartain, D
Patrick Gunn, R, C, WF, I

Justice Sartain, 52, is looking to retain her seat on the bench, having been appointed in January 2020 to fill a vacancy. A Westhampton lawyer with 30 years of experience, she worked as a public defender in Miami, Florida, and, after moving to New York in 2002, for the Legal Aid Society. She worked  exclusively in the Southampton Town Justice Court representing  indignant clients. In 2018, she went into private practice, continuing to defend those in need of court-appointed representation, as well as volunteering with the East End Regional Intervention Court (Drug Court).

Gunn, currently attorney in private practice who serves as the prosecutor for the Village of Quogue, is a former Suffolk County District Attorney and former Assistant Town Attorney and Public Safety Division Administrator for the Town of East Hampton. A U.S. Navy veteran, the 58-year-old has lived in the Town of Southampton for 27 years and practiced law in the Southampton Town Justice Court for the last 17 years, both as prosecutor and defense attorney.

Shelter Island Justice
Vote for Any One

*Helen Rosenblum, R
Stanley I. Birnbaum, D

Rosenblum, 75, has been on the bench since 2004 and is seeking her sixth four-year term. She had served as the Shelter Island Town attorney and the Shelter Island Fire District attorney, and continues to work in private practice in Riverhead. She also serves as the East End drug court.

Birnbaum, 72, is an attorney in private practice in East Hampton.

Joseph C. DiBenedetto, left, and Sean M. Walter, right, are vying for a seat on the Riverhead Town Justice bench.

Riverhead Town Justice
Vote for Any One

Joseph C. DiBenedetto, D
Sean M. Walter, R, C, I

Following the sudden death of longtime Justice Allen Smith, who was up for reelection this year, Walter stepped in as the Republican candidate. Walter, 54, served seven years as the Riverhead Town Supervisor, until he lost the 2017 election. He is a lawyer in private practice in Wading River, where he has lived for 29 years.

DiBenedetto, 75, is a Professor  Emeritus in Residence at Pace University as of September, after 49 years as full-time tenured professor. He lives in Riverhead and maintains a law practice there with a concentration in business law, real estate tax matters and civil litigation. During his teaching career, he published and co-authored many academic articles. He was a consultant in law and accounting continuing education program for IBM, Corning Glass and other companies.


There are two propositions on the November ballot. Proposition One is a law to change the term of office for Suffolk County legislators from two years to four years. Answer yes or no.

Proposition Two is to transfer excess from the Sewer Assessment Stabilization Reserve Fund for the Suffolk County Taxpayer Trust Fund. Answer yes or no.

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