Primary turnout expectations for Tuesday

Jun 25, 2018

One of the more closely watched primaries in Monroe Couny in recent years takes place on Tuesday.

Traditionally, primary contests don’t bring out a huge number of voters in any case; what makes the primary for the Democrats in the 25th Congressional District even more challenging in terms of turnout is the fact that the primary is in June.

The federal primary date in June was implemented back in 2012, related to the timetable for ballots that must be sent to soldiers and other voters overseas, and Monroe County  has had just one primary in June since that went into effect, in 2012,  a Republican primary for Congress, and turnout was quite low. That’s according to Democratic Monroe County Elections Commissioner Tom Ferrarese.

This week’s primary includes Joe Morelle,  Adam McFadden, Robin Wilt and Rachel Barnhart trying to win the Democratic nomination for the seat formerly held by Louise Slaughter, the longtime area representative who died in March.

Ferrarese says Monroe County Board of  Elections officials are predicting voter turnout on Tuesday of about 12 to 18 percent, and they’re hoping the interest in that race will bring those numbers in at the higher level of that range.

“The fact that people paid attention to that and they know that exists out there; the other thing is that I’m hoping, and the reason we’re actually, kind of put a range out there, of 12 to 18 is that we believe that different people are going to come out for different candidates, and with four candidates in the race hopefully that will draw more people out,” Ferrarese told WXXI News.

Whoever wins the primary faces Republican Jim Maxwell in November.

Ferrarese says  the Tuesday primary will have about the same number of polling places as a general election.

He does note that out of about 450,000 voters in Monroe County, about 179,000 or so are eligible to vote in Tuesday's primary.

“With that substantially down we need less workers in the polling site and stuff like that, but as far as we’re concerned it’s kind of a full election and we’re really pretty close to the number of sites and machines that we would normally have out their anyway.”

You can check on voter information at the Monroe County Board of Elections website,  or by calling:


Other primaries around the state in Tuesday include a Democratic contest in the 23rd district where five Democrats are running for the right to face incumbent Republican Tom Reed in the fall, and the 24th district, where two Democrats are running in a primary, hoping to run against Republican Incumbent John Katko in November.

Voting in the primary on Tuesday is from Noon to 9:00 p.m.  WXXI News will have live coverage of the 25th district Democratic Congressional Primary on Tuesday, starting at 10:00 p.m. and at wxxinews.org