North country voters will go to the polls today to pick a presidential candidate — even though the choice has already been made.
Republican Mitt Romney is the presumptive nominee for his party, and President Obama is close to wrapping up his second nomination for the Democrats.
But Republican voters will still be able to make their pick from noon to 9 p.m. today in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Also on the Republican ballot in New York: former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who has dropped out; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.
Only registered members of a party may vote in that party's primary.
You'll find a running tally of the opinions of Republican luminaries and how they're voting here. I've decided to keep it to five: Sens. Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie, Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, and congressional candidates Matt Doheny and Kellie Greene. I'll update if/when each responds.
Ms. Greene posted on Facebook that if you like Mr. Santorum, you should vote for him — and vote your conscience. She also tweeted encouragement for Mr. Santorum.
It's a message that she's pushing in her race, too.
"Rick Santorum is still on the NY Ballot so if he is your choice, you can send a big message to the powers that be that you stand for something other than the establishment pick!!!!" she writes. "Stand up for what you believe in today and vote your conscience - not what you think the outcome is going to be anyway!!!!"
Mr. Griffo will be voting for Mr. Romney.
The state senator from Rome was an early Romney supporter; in fact, if Mr. Romney wins his congressional delegation, Mr. Griffo will be a Romney delegate at the Republican National Convention.
Mrs. Ritchie's spokeswoman, Sarah Compo, said that Mrs. Ritchie will be voting for Mr. Romney.
In Mrs. Ritchie's view, Ms. Compo said, Mr. Romney is "going to be the party's nominee and has the best chance of beating Obama."
Mrs. Ritchie also said that Mr. Romney is a good nominee.
Mr. Doheny won't commit to publicly supporting one Republican candidate in today's primary. He's hoping to get the GOP nod to take on Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in November.
"A voter's right to a secret ballot is a longstanding tradition in our democratic process," he said in an email. "For people to vote their conscience, they must be assured their ballot is secure and private. While I understand the media's curiosity about my vote, I have always preferred to keep my choice of candidate to myself. I will, however, make one exception in the future. I will be voting for myself in the Nov. 6 election - and encourage all to do the same!"
If you Owens supporters are out there chuckling to yourselves about Mr. Doheny's lack of public support of anyone in particular, please continue on to the endof this post. Here is the response from an Owens spokesman on whether the Plattsburgh Democrat was supporting President Obama:
"Congressman Owens agrees with the President on some issues and disagrees with him on others. On the whole, he has not been impressed by the economic ideas put forth by Mr. Romney and would not vote for him. That said, it is a personal decision for everyone to make on their own."