Election officials expect a large turnout
TRI-COUNTY AREA—Tuesday, Nov. 6, is the general election and area board of elections are expecting nearly 80 percent voter turnout similar to that from four years ago, in the last presidential election.
Yates County Democratic Board of Elections Commissioner Bob Brechko said they anticipate at least 80 percent of registered voters to show up at the polls. That was how many people voted four years ago. He said, “at that time we had 13,133 active voters. Of those 10,383 voted.” This was attributed to the presidential election.
In addition to the candidates, Schuyler residents will also be voting on a proposition to change the legislative districts due to shifts in population. If approved, the three current districts will be changed to eight by 2016. There would still be eight legislators.
Residents will vote on candidates, from the next president down to state and some local representatives. The polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. This year, President Barack Obama faces Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate. Also running are several third-party candidates: Jill Stein (Green), Peta Lindsay (Socialism and Liberation), Gary Johnson (Libertarian), and Virgil Goode (Constitution).
Another contested race is between Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) and the Democratic candidate Nate Shinagawa for the 23rd Congressional district. For more, visit page 3 for candidate profiles and page 18 for a story about a debate the two attended, Friday, Oct. 26.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is facing the Republican candidate Wendy Long. There are three other candidates also running for the senate seat: Colia Clark (Green), Chris Edes (Libertarian), and John Mangelli (Constitution).
There are four candidates for two seats of the New York Supreme Court 7th District. They are Sean Gleason (Democratic), Gail Donofrio (Republican, Conservative, and Working Families), J. Scott Odorisi (Democratic and Working Families), and David Barry (Republican and Conservative).
State Sen. Thomas O’Mara and State Assemblyman Philip Palmesano are both running unopposed for their seats. Depending on the town town a voter lives in, there may be other elections on the ballot.
In Yates County Theron Smith is running for coroner unopposed. Rob Martin is running unopposed in Jerusalem for highway superintendent. In Milo, Gene Spanneut is the only person on the ballot for town council member.
Steuben County’s David Cole is running unopposed for sheriff. Urbana residents can also vote for a town board member. John Jensen is the only person listed on the ballot.
In Schuyler County, two people are running for one town of Orange board position. The candidates are Nicholas Haner (Democratic) and Lori Ellison (Listening Party). In Catharine, Glenn Bleiler is running unopposed as a council member.
For Yates County voters, Brechko said this will be the first time using the new voting machines. He said 25 percent of registered voters have not used them. He explained some people only vote in the presidential elections and Yates started using the machines in 2009.
Brechko added there are more absentee ballots this year as well. He said as of Friday, Oct. 26, they had 930 absentee ballots. Brechko added during a non-presidential year, they only receive around 600 absentee ballots.
In Schuyler County, 75 percent of registered people voted in 2008, or 8,696 residents. John Vona, Schuyler County Board of Elections Democratic commissioner, said he expects a similar turnout, but nothing much bigger than that.
“I hope more people get out and vote,” said Vona.
According to the Schuyler County Board of Elections, 324 of 600 absentee ballots had been returned by Friday. In 2008 there were 677 absentee ballots as part of the count.