Know the System

State Offices

The New York State Government is composed of 3 separate branches: the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary. In the following we will describe the elected-positions in each branch and what they do.

The Executive Branch

The Executive Branch is headed by the Governor and Lieutenant Governor and includes a number of other departments. Think of these positions like the President and Vice President of a State along with a cabinet. Other important positions in the State government include the State Comptroller, and the Attorney General. Most of these positions are elected every four years.

The Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch is comprised of a range of courts, from trial to appellate courts with various jurisdictions. Judicial positions may be elected or appointed.

The Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch consists of members of the State Senate and State Assembly (similar to the federal Senate and House of Representatives) elected to two year terms. [some version of State Senate/Assembly graphic]

Like State and Federal elections, local elections are divided into Districts. This holds true for Count and City-wide elections. Counties are broken down into Districts which are represented by a County Legislator. Each District is allotted one Legislator. While Cities are often divided into wards, or conglomerates of neighborhoods, which are represented by a City Council. If you’re curious about which County and City Districts you are a part of, you should contact the Board of Elections at: (518) 474-6220.