Central New York, Politics, Syracuse

Democratic Primary Voters Face Small Participation Numbers

By Corey Crisan SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Tuesday’s primary elections in New York State retain significance regarding major legislative seats. Namely, the Democratic party’s ballot representative to oppose Republican John Katko’s 24th District’s Congressional seat.

Juanita Perez-Williams will oppose Dana Balter on Tuesday’s ballot, and the race is expected to be tight. Syracuse.com reported Perez-Williams opened with a 13-point lead over Balter in the initial polls, but a moderated debate between the two candidates on Saturday may have caused some of those numbers to change.

Regardless of who is leading in the polls, the Democratic party is facing an underlying issue — people are not voting.

Approximately nine percent of registered Democratic voters made their way to the polls in the 2016 Democratic primary elections. In that race won by Colleen Deacon, just over 13,000 of 140,000 voters showed up to cast their ballots.

“Primaries are one of the least turned out elections that we have in our cycles,” Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said. “One of the reasons is it happens in odd times of the year. September or June is not November. You don’t even start thinking about the political process until after Labor Day.”

While it is not November, this election still maintains significance, given recent protests against Katko.

To find your polling place for Tuesday’s election, visit the Onondaga County Board of Elections‘ official website. Polls are open from noon until 9 p.m.