Will a Thursday primary election dampen turnout?

Sep 12, 2018

Do you intend to vote in Thursday's primary election? Erie County's Democratic chairman sees some problems getting people to turn out.

Jeremy Zellner says there is a lot of interest in the election, partially because of the gubernatorial race but also because of the race for state attorney general, a position open because of the scandal-caused resignation of Eric Schneiderman.

Zellner says candidates are trying to engage voters to make sure they show up to vote on an unusual day.

"People aren't used to voting on Thursdays. That's a simple fact. So I think that will hurt the turnout a little bit," Zellner said. "But, again, there's so much energy out there right now, to combat what's coming out of Washington, and the candidates that are running are really doing a great job of talking to the voters about things that matter to them and so I think that's going to keep them engaged."

Zellner said there is specific local interest in two statewide races involving local candidates, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul seeking a second term in a tough race against New York City Councilmember Jumaane Williams and Verizon Vice President for Government Affairs Leecia Eve in the four-way race for AG. Eve is the daughter of former State Assembly power Arthur Eve, with a strong resume of positions in Albany and Washington.

"It's a free-for-all right now and I think that our candidate, Leecia Eve, is the most qualified candidate," said Zellner. "She has a real shot at this, but all of the candidates are extremely qualified and great people, and we would be very well served as a state to have any of them there."

Zellner said the Governor's campaign is camped out in party headquarters.

"We're overrun with volunteers and signs and literature and door knockers and people who are going out," he said. "So there is a lot of attention being paid here, particularly a lot of it is because of Kathy. People in Western New York love Kathy. We call her our favorite daughter. For too long, there was only a favorite son, but Kathy is our favorite daughter here in Western New York and people are going to turn out to vote for her. That's also is going to help our turnout."