Yates had best turnout in election; Ridgeway the worst

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 November 2015 at 12:00 am

The controversy over the wind turbine project, as well as contested races at the town and county level, brought a higher percentage of voters to the polls in Yates than any other town in Orleans County last Tuesday.

Yates has 1,466 registered voters and 736 cast ballots on Tuesday, for 50.2 percent of the registered voters. Countywide, the turnout was 38.2 percent.

One of the Yates races still isn’t over. Absentee ballots will be counted Tuesday at 9 a.m. to determine the winner of the town supervisor race. Incumbent John Belson received 352 votes on election day. Jim Simon, an anti-turbine candidate, ran a write-in campaign and is 14 votes behind Belson.

Yates also had races for Town Board seats, a local county legislator position, and the contentious county-wide sheriff race.

While Yates had the best turnout, neighboring Ridgeway had the fewest at 29.8 percent or 1,066 voters out of 3,579.

Here is a breakdown of turnout at the 10 towns.

Community Voters Registered Percent Voted
Albion 1,230 3,147 39.1
Barre 566 1,219 46.4
Carlton 706 1,771 39.9
Clarendon 771 2,149 35.9
Gaines 743 1,800 41.3
Kendall 692 1,593 43.4
Murray 923 2,516 36.7
Ridgeway 1,066 3,579 29.8
Shelby 998 2,829 35.3
Yates 736 1,466 50.2
County 8,431 22,069 38.2

Source: Orleans County Board of Elections; Orleans Hub calculations.
Turnout was higher than in a typical local election but was down from a year ago in the gubernatorial election, when 9,742 people voted on Election Day in a race highlighted by Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino for governor.That was about 1,300 more than voted last Tuesday.

Bower won the sheriff’s election, 3,951 to 3,507 for Tom Drennan and 847 for Don Organisciak.

Drennan is from Kendall and the town had a bigger turnout at 43.4 percent than many other towns, even though Kendall had unopposed candidates at the town level. That was the same issue for Murray, Bower’s hometown, which had a turnout of 36.7 percent.

Besides the Yates town supervisor race, another close election will be determined Tuesday morning when absentees are counted in the Town of Albion. Darlene Benton has a 6-vote lead over Paul Fulcomer for a Town Board position.