Low voter turnout expected in Albany County - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Low voter turnout expected in Albany County

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Polling sites in Albany County have been extremely slow so far this Election Day, according to those running the sites.

Election officials say the low turnout may be for a few different reasons; One reason voter turnout is low is because there are not any state or federal offices up for election. Another reason some voters and election officials speculate there is low turnout on Tuesday is because people seem fed up with government following the shutdown and other recent issues.

Matthew Clyne, Democratic Elections Commissioner for the Albany County Board of Elections, estimates voter turnout at 40 percent on Tuesday, but Barbara Bartoletti with the League of Women Voters believes it could be closer to around 28 percent.

"The highest turn out you get is a presidential election. The lowest is a year such as this one, where you don't have any state or federal offices up," Clyne said.

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Albany City Hall polling station, there were only 40 voters, and at the New Scotland Elementary School, only 43 voters had come out by around 11:45 a.m. 

In addition to no lines, Democratic Election Inspector Ed Ragule says the trend has been that it's been mainly older voters have been coming in.

Another thing that may be holding people up is the six ballot propositions, seven in Albany.

"When people come in they've been backed up because of these proposals. Some of them don't understand them or would have to go over and read them," said Ragule.

And the hold up could be influencing the decisions voters make when it comes to proposals like Proposal One that, if passed, would allow casinos in New York. Those who don't feel comfortable could be more likely to vote it down, according to Clyne.

Pauline Anton says she is one of the voters that doesn't feel well informed on the proposals.

"They didn't have many things in the paper so I didn't have enough information. I'm going to vote no or I'm going to leave it blank," she said.

If Proposal One passes, New York State will see seven Las Vegas-style casinos, one likely in the Saratoga Springs-Albany area, something some voters say would have a negative impact on their community.

"That is not a proper way for states or entities to earn their income," said one Albany voter.

"I don't think it will keep the atmosphere of the communities into which it comes, so I voted no," said another.

Polls opened at 6 a.m. Tuesday and close at 9 p.m.

The Albany County Board of Elections says it expects to have preliminary results at around 11 p.m.

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