It seems like there has been more political activities in the NY23rd for the 2018 Congressional elections than in other years. More noise. More organized events. More grass root groups. More people involved. But, will the efforts spent over the past year and a half produce results?
Looking at the Democratic voter turnout in the 2018 primary elections: We had a record 23,501 NY 23rd voters participated in the June 26 Federal Primary. (NYS Board of Election). Many wondered if the reason for the large turnout was the fact that we had a year and a half of campaign activities that whittled the candidates down from ten to five.
In order to see if the Democratic voter enthusiasm has continued to increased, I compared the voter turn out at the September 13 2018 Primary to the September 2014 Primary turnout. The big drawing card for each was a contested race for Governor. In 2014, Governor Cuomo was opposed by Zephyr Teachout. In 2018 he was opposed by Cynthia Nixon. Below is the comparison of the number who voted in that race by county.
Please note in the table below, that the single asterisked (*) number included the absentee ballots that the County BOE reported as of Thursday, September 28 on the County’s website. The Counties without an asterisk had not reported their absentee ballots yet. Those numbers will increase.(Ontario and Tioga Counties are in two different Congressional Districts, and the number of voters reported are for the whole county, not just the NY23rd portion in both 2014 and 2018.
** these counties are in the NY23rd and another congressional district. The number represents voters from the whole county, not just the NY23rd portion
As you can see, every county had an increase in voters in 2018 compared to 2014. The increase ranged from 1.3 times (Cattargugus) to 7.1 times (Ontario) still have absentee ballots to report. With that all being said, the NY23rd voters increased from 12k to 35.8k, or approximately 3 times as many voters from 2014 to 2018.
Primary voter turnout has indicated that a Blue Wave has hit the NY23rd, but some counties more than others. Hard work is needed to make it be big enough to wash over the entire district. The Wave needs to include concerned voters from all parties, and those who are not in a party. It can be do.
I’m part of the 2.6x increase for Allegany county. Not only had I never voted in a September primary before this year, I’d never voted in a congressional primary before this year either. This November will be the first mid-term election I’ve voted in since the early 2000’s. And I’m proud to say my 19 year old son is now voting, and voting Democratic, with me.
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Go, David! I also have a thought about voter turnout numbers here….when I was petitioning for Tracy last spring I came across a surprising number of people (mostly mid- to late twenties) who were surprised to learn they were registered at all, let alone as Democrats. I couldn’t figure out how that could happen until my daughter reminded me that at our high school, the US Gov teacher used to get all the 18-year-olds registered (and would generally take them down to vote in the budget vote, but I bet for a lot of them that was the first and only time they went to the polls). The majority of them seem to have registered as Democrats; that teacher has since left the district but I’m going to try to find out why that was so, if he encouraged them to register for that party (he was a staunch R) or if they somehow decided on their own those were the policies they favored. I know my little area is but a small sampling of the 23rd, but I wonder how much that’s repeated throughout the district, and if all those registered-but-don’t-remember-it non-voters are somehow skewing those turnout numbers.