WXXI AM News

Primary Day: Getting the vote out

Sep 12, 2017

Tuesday is Primary Day , and that often means a relatively light voter turnout in many communities around New York State.

But Monroe County Elections Commissioners are hoping for something a little bit stronger, especially with all of the attention focused on the Democratic Primary for Mayor in Rochester. Incumbent Lovely Warren is being challenged by former city police chief and current county legislator James Sheppard and former TV journalist Rachel Barnhart. 

Democratic Elections Commissioner Thomas Ferrarese  says that race could help get people out to the polls. 

“I think people are paying attention, also, too, I think one of the failures of the 2013 primary was the fact that polling data suggested that it was all over even before it was done, and I don’t think that’s the case at all, at this point, so hopefully maybe people will realize their vote does count.”

Republican Elections Commissioner Douglas French says it’s hard to gauge whether voter registration is up due to the city elections, but he says candidates have been very active this election season. 

“We’ve got over 20 candidates in the city of Rochester specifically that have been out registering people, they’ve been doing registration drives; we have had a bump in registrations, with 20 candidates, it’s tough to tell if it’s higher than normal.

French says it should be a fairly good turnout in the city, as far as primary days go. He says back in 2005, there was about a 36 percent turnout for a city primary.

"2013, with the same offices that we have this year, mayor, city council, school board, we had a 22.6 percent turnout; we're hoping it's somewhere in the middle, so we'd like to look at turnout of , 26, 28 percent would be great,” French told WXXI News

Registered Republicans in Greece will be voting in a town board race, and in Henrietta there are Reform Party primaries for town supervisor and two town board seats. In Ontario County, Republicans will decide between two candidates for district attorney.

Voting is from Noon to 9pm on Tuesday . Listen for complete election coverage on WXXI starting at 9pm on AM 1370, and streaming at wxxinews.org, and we’ll also track the races and results on our Twitter account, @WXXINews and on our website, wxxinews.org