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Few voters turn out at Bird Library for Tuesday’s primary elections

Tuesday’s primary elections at E.S. Bird Library produced a small number of voters.

The Democratic ballot included three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for New York state governor as well as candidates for lieutenant governor and city court judge. The New York Times reported that, with 43 percent of precincts reporting, current Gov. Andrew Cuomo won the gubernatorial primary with 60.4 percent of the vote, and Kathy Hochul, a Syracuse University alumna and Cuomo’s running mate, won the primary for lieutenant governor.

The Conservative ballot featured a candidate for Onondaga County sheriff with a write in option.

The turnout, which was expected to be low, saw only seven voters show up at the polls between noon and 7 p.m, said Tim Liebe, an election inspector. Only a few more were expected by closing at 9 p.m. Liebe credits the low turnout to the fact that no one is encouraged to vote.

“The people that truly believe are the ones that come out and vote,” he said. “Not enough people are being convinced that they need to believe.”

Primaries have historically low turnout rates at Bird, with the last primary bringing in only four voters total, Liebe said.

With more than 700 democrats registered to vote at Bird and only four voters by 5 p.m., the turnout rate was less than 1 percent for the first half of the day.

The only time the turnout seems higher is when there is a presidential election, said Margaret McKinley, another election inspector.

“The presidential election was overwhelming,” McKinley said. “A flood of human beings were here, thousands lined up.”

Total voter turnout in Onondaga County for the 2012 presidential election was 77 percent, according to the Onondaga County Board of Elections’ website.

McKinley added that the reason for the low turnout, in her opinion, was a lack of people that care enough to come out and vote.

“The more educated, the more diehard, politically processed people, the ones that take their experience as an American citizen seriously are the ones that are going to come out here and vote,” she said.

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