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Turnout, at 34.8%, was down from recent local elections

Photo by Tom Rivers: Voters make their choices on Tuesday at Hoag Library, where Albion voters cast their ballots.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 November 2019 at 8:29 am

The turnout for Tuesday’s election was below the voter participation in recent local elections, including 2017 and 2015, when the town and county positions were on the ballot.

There were 8,084 voters at the polls for the latest election, which includes 374 during 9 days of early voting. That’s out of 23,183 registered voters in the county for a total turnout of 34.8 percent.

Many of the positions on the ballot were uncontested with only one candidate.

The position of sheriff was likely the most profile race, but only one candidate, Chris Bourke, was on the ballot. He received 78.4 percent of the vote and withstood a write-in campaign. Brett Sobieraski lost a close Republican Primary to Bourke on June 25. Many of his supporters pushed him as a write-in candidate. There were 1,570 write-in votes. Bourke received 5,693 votes.

Of the seven county legislator seats, six were unopposed. Don Allport of Gaines was challenged by Chase Tkach, a Libertarian Party candidate. Allport received 87.8 percent of the vote.

There were hotly contested races in Barre for town supervisor and Town Board seats, in Ridgeway for town supervisor, in Shelby for highway superintendent, in Gaines for Town Board positions and in Murray for town supervisor and the Town Board.

But several towns – Albion, Carlton, Kendall and Yates – didn’t have any contested races.

Four years ago, there was a hotly contested race for sheriff, between Randy Bower and Tom Drennan. That highlighted the local elections that year, when turnout was 38.2 percent (with no early voting option). That election had 8,431 voters go to the polls out of 22,069 registered voters.

Two years ago there was another local election and turnout was again at 38.2 percent – 8,693 voters out of 22,739 registered.

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