Primary Day features a number of local contests

Sep 13, 2018

Credit File photo

Primary Day in New York state is Thursday for statewide and local races, and the polls are open in our region from noon to 9 p.m.

Besides the statewide races for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General, there are a number of local contests.

They include a Democratic Primary for the 136th Assembly District seat currently held by Joe Morelle who is giving up that seat to run for Congress in November.

The 136th Assembly District candidates are: Todd Grady, Jamie Romeo and Jaclyn Richard.

The 133rd Assembly District Republican Primary candidates are incumbent Joe Errigo and Marjorie Byrnes.

The 137th Assembly District Democratic Primary candidates are incumbent David Gantt and Ann Lewis.

There is also a Democratic City Court Judge Primary in Rochester between Michael Lopez and Gil Perez.

For Rochester School Board, in a Democratic Primary there are 3 candidates for 2 open seats and the candidates are Beatriz Lebron, Melanie Funchess and Judith Davis.

In Ontario County, there is a Republican Primary for Sheriff, with Sheriff Phil Povero not running again. The candidates are Silvio Palermo and Bob Green.

There are two candidates who are running in primaries both for the Republican and Reform Party nominations for Ontario County Court Judge, Edward Kenyon and Kitty Karle.

There are two candidates for Canandaigua City Court Judge facing off in multiple primaries on Tuesday. Meg Reston and Jackie Sisson Sherry are running in primaries on the Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Green, Independence, Reform and Women’s Equality Lines.

Getting a good turnout is often a challenge, especially in non-presidential years.

In Monroe County, Democratic Elections Commissioner Tom Ferrarese says voter turnout is always a concern with primaries.

“Trying to get people out to the polls, particularly in what we call 'a governor’s year,'  it seems like turnout is always pretty low. We had this conversation back when we had the federal primary in June, but we were pleasantly surprised, not that turnout was great, but that it was up from what we had anticipated.”

That federal primary garnered a nearly 20 percent turnout.

But Ferrarese says turnout of between 8 and 10 percent has been the average for primaries the last 20 years.

He says elections officials are hoping for at least a 15 percent turnout on Tuesday.

Ferrarese feels that opening the polls at 6 a.m. would also help spark turnout.        

“I’d love to see them open at 6 in the morning.  Actually I’d love to see some other things that we could do to stir turnout, but that’s a legislative discussion at this point.”

A handful of counties and New York City open the polls at 6 a.m., while in Rochester and many other parts of upstate, voters have to wait until Noon.

And Republican Monroe County Elections Commissioner Doug French says he’s not sure opening the polls earlier would make a big difference.              

“We do get calls, people are going to work and they wanted to stop and vote on their way in.  I think it all has to do with the candidates, and the interest.”

French says if voters aren’t sure of their polling place, they should check the Monroe County Board of Elections website, or call 585-753-1550 during normal business hours.

Ontario County Board of Elections website,  phone is 585-396-4005

Livingston County Board of Elections website, phone: 585-243-7090 or 585-335-1705

Wayne County Board of Elections website, phone: 315-946-7400

WXXI will have live election coverage, including interviews and analysis, starting at 9 p.m. Thursday, on AM 1370, FM 107.5 and streaming at wxxinews.org.