Where are all Manhattan voters in August? Try the Hamptons.

AMAGANSETT, NY – In this verdant town here on a recent morning, waiting for a manicure, sitting exactly the way the Manhattan Democrat that the ballot coveted could balance the blockbuster primaries. Tuesday involved the two lions of Congress, Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney.

Only the woman in question, Judith Segall, says she’s in absolutely no hurry to leave this exclusive fortress of sand dunes, $10 heirloom tomatoes, and the city’s seasonal transplants, and returned to his Upper East Side home.

“I did not come to vote. That’s the point: No one here comes just to vote,” said Mrs. Segall, a retired accountant with a city accent who spent her summer here, and liked Mr. Nadler. “Is crazy. What is the vote this August? “

But in a twist that fits two of the wealthiest counties in the United States, races can be won or lost miles outside the city, in places like the Hudson Valley, the Berkshires and, above all, the coast. sandy beach east of Long Island, where trusted voters like Mrs. Segall flock each August to spend the last weeks of summer in second homes and vacation rentals.

That fact prompted an unusual and costly shadow campaign – complete with beach-themed mailers, sophisticated geo-tracking for tailored ads targeting homes. second and at least one Hamptons made by Miss Maloney – to see who can get more of their supporters to leave their beach chairs and head back to the city, or at least the local post office.

In anticipation of low turnout, politicians say about a thousand lost votes could be the difference between a win and a narrow defeat.

The exodus is seen most clearly in District 12, where Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney were drawn together after three decades of service together and are now fighting.along with the third candidate, Suraj Patel) on highland voters who like both.

According to the New York City Elections Commission, about 35,000 Democrats have received mail-in ballots so far, a large portion of them over-65s, and many Upper East and West runaways. out of their apartment when the weather warms up. By comparison, the board said only 7,500 mail-in ballots were distributed to all of Manhattan in the 2018 midterm primaries, held in June.

Another 21,000 Democrats received absentee ballots for the neighboring 10th District primaries, more than any other county but 12. The 10th district includes affluent areas like Greenwich Village, Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights – as well as the Orthodox Jewish communities of Borough Park – whose residents also tend to overlook town.

“The last two weeks of August, this is really the last two weeks of August,” said Jon Reinish, a Democratic political strategist who was among the city residents who temporarily moved to the town of Rhinebeck in the Hudson Valley. where there are many people.

He had one piece of advice for Democratic vote hunters, especially Ms. Maloney, whose East Side establishment even moved some of her favorite restaurants out to Long Island for the “season.”

“As opposed to pounding sidewalks around 86th Street and Lexington Avenue tube stops, Carolyn Maloney could be better served campaigning outside the entrance to Sagg Main Beach or along Jobs Road in Southampton. ,” he said, only partly in amusement.

Restaurants are used to having national politicians drop money every summer in search of posh fundraisers and live seafood eateries: Vice President Kamala Harris; Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democratic candidate for governor; and the recent governor of New York candidates are all here. But with Congress’ August 23 primaries set to take place, they appear to be enjoying their moment of high electoral influence.

“If they really want re-election, they should get out of here,” said Gordon Herr, chairman of the Southampton Township Democratic Committee and a former city resident who moved to the east 16 years ago. He said many of the city dwellers he spoke to were “very conflicted” about who to vote for and could use extra motivation.

New York almost never holds an election in August. But that changed this year after the state’s highest court roll out newly drawn maps Supporting Democrats was unconstitutional, and a rural judge decided to split that state’s primary calendar in two to allow time for a court-appointed expert to draw new, neutral lines.

The result put Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney on a collision course and opened up a new seat next door; it also means that New Yorkers are required to vote twice in two months.

The voters who will be in the city on Election Day are sure to remain the majority, and the main focus of the campaign. But tracking the heads outside of New York is a rare high priority, especially for Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney.

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Mr Nadler’s campaign sent a partially filled absentee ballot application to 50,000 potential supporters earlier this summer with their trip predictions and is now using geo-engineering data. number to distribute ads to potentially visible voters in the Hamptons or Berkshires, specifically reminding them to mail documents before it’s too late.

Another glossy campaign mailer featuring an Atlantic beach: “Away on August 23?” it reads. “Don’t miss your chance to vote for Jerry Nadler.”

That’s what we’ve been worried about from the start, who estimates that up to a quarter of the total votes in the race could be taken, said Mark Guma, Mr Nadler’s top strategist. by post.

Commitment is not cheap. The campaign reportedly paid Mr. Guma’s company $270,000 to date for the mail program and other services.

Ms Maloney’s campaign has made a similarly large investment and has sent local supporters to help track summer voters dropping absentee ballot applications and other campaign materials at their second home. (Both campaigns argue that city-style merchants at farmers markets and suburban beaches are ineffective.)

At the end of July, Ms. Maloney made the trip to the Montauk highway on her own, attending at least one fundraiser, one meet-and-greet at a supporter’s home, and Q. and A. in Hampton Synagoguea lively forum for politicians every summer.

“It’s a big challenge,” Ms Maloney said, adding that she was “absolutely nervous” about getting her supporters to take part in the polls. “A lot of voters are out there. I hope they vote.”

In several leafy villages in the Hamptons last week, the results seemed contradictory. Many voters said they plan to return to the city for early voting or Primary Day.

As he lounged on a couch with an iced coffee in Southampton, one of them, John Lewin, said he received multiple phone calls from Mr Nadler’s campaign reminding him to vote. and plans to definitely return to his home in Upper West’s on Primary Day.

Mr. Lewin, a lawyer said: “I like going to physical school – old school.

He acknowledged the two incumbents were “probably not that different”, but Mr Nadler had his vote. “It’s like I go to Zabar’s,” he said. “I know where everything is. That’s Jerry Nadler. “

But in many cases, campaigns have struggled to be heard for the pleasures of the holiday: tennis lessons, swimming, hiking in the Catskill and Berkshire mountains, must-cooked meals.

“There’s a strange thing here, everyone is doing a million things to squeeze everything out,” said Julie Dermer, a fitness trainer in Manhattan who moves to the Hamptons every summer to teach. good right after the pandemic. “They’re not ready to work for such a cause right now or for a human.”

Ms Dermer put herself in that camp, and initially said she wasn’t sure she would vote next week (though she later said she would). She said she was open to one of two candidates. “Definitely if I was near the polling place, I would go,” she said.

Mr. Patel’s campaign has made its own efforts to evict absentee voters, even sending first-class mail to registered voters abroad. But with a message of generational change, Mr. Patel, 38, is betting on younger voters being less likely to own a second home to ease his frustration in the first round. grant. He spent the last days of the campaign loitering around Manhattan in an ice cream truck.

His advisers say there are indications in the early voting data that the vote-by-mail vote may account for a smaller percentage than initially anticipated, although it may be too early to tell. As of midweek, about 12,000 absentee ballots had been returned in District 12 and about 4,800 in District 10. Each race could end with 60,000 to 80,000 votes or more.

In some cases, voters took it upon themselves to beat summer apathy.

A Lower Manhattanite in District 10, a business owner and actress who often spends summers in the Hamptons or abroad, said she and her family will vote in person. But she worries others may adjust to the race due to the unusual election day and the rich number of candidates.

“There was definitely confusion,” said actress Sarah Jessica Parker. “I’m going to start encouraging all I know to make sure they have their ducks in a row.”

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