Early voting turnout down significantly so far for primary

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 June 2021 at 3:28 pm

ALBION – The turnout in the first three days of early voting is way down compared to the response last year in early voting during the presidential election.

Voting has started for Republicans with primaries in six Orleans County. The turnout so far include 7 on Saturday, 9 on Sunday and 8 today at about 3 p.m. Voting today is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Early voting continues each day through Sunday at the Orleans County Board of Elections Office at the County Administration Building, 14016 State Route 31.

There was early voting in 2020 from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1 and 3,753 people voted over 9 days, an average of 417 each day. This was during a presidential election and was open to all registered voters, not just Republicans. Some people also preferred early voting during the Covid-19 pandemic, expecting smaller crowds at the BOE office. Some people were also concerned last election it would be more difficult to vote if they needed to isolate at home if they were in close contact with someone who had Covid.

When there was early voting for the first time in 2019, there were 32 voters on the first day and then 26 on Sunday, the second day. In the nine days of early voting in 2019, there were 374 early voters out of about 23,000 registered voters in the county, an average of about 42 per day.

Here is the schedule for early voting for the remaining six days:

  • Tuesday, June 15, from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 16, from noon to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, June 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The regular primary election day will be June 22 with a polling location in each town with a primary. The Republican primaries include:

  • Barre – Four candidates seeking two four-year positions on the Town Board: George McKenna, Tom McCabe, David S. Waters and Lynn Hill. McCabe and Hill currently are on the Town Board.
  • Carlton – Two candidates are seeking a four-year term as town clerk. Karen A. Narburgh and Dori Goetze are the candidates. Narburgh is the current town clerk.
  • Gaines – Two candidates are running for Gaines town justice. Bruce Schmidt is retiring from the position after this year. Henry Smith, Jr. and Charles Prentice, Jr. both are seeking a four-year term.
  • Murray – Former Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower is challenging current Town Supervisor Joe Sidonio for a two-year term as town supervisor.
  • Ridgeway – There are three candidates seeking a four-year term as Ridgeway town clerk. They include Laurie Kilburn, Hannah Hill and E.J. Cox. There are also three candidates seeking two four-year terms on the Town Board: Cliff Barber, Jeffrey Toussaint and David M. Stalker. Toussaint and Stalker are currently on the Town Board.
  • Shelby – There are three candidates seeking two four-years on the Town Board: William H. Bacon Edward, Mathew Zelazny and Stephen J. Seitz, Sr. Bacon and Seitz are current board members.