Abysmal Turnout - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1795327

Abysmal Turnout

A few days ago, in Southampton Town, two similar yet different events took place.

The first event occurred in the Village of Southampton, where a highly emotional and hotly contested election for village mayor took place. The election of the village mayor is not a political party-orientated event, but rather it is based on the proposed agenda and accomplishments each candidate represents. This being the case, over 50 percent of the eligible village voters showed up and exercised their civic duty.

On Tuesday, June 22, Southampton Town held primary elections for the Democratic Party and for the Working Families Party. In contrast to the village elections, voter turnout for the Democratic primary was abysmal: Fewer than 10 percent of registered Democrats came out to vote. The Democratic primary ballot contained only one position, that for two town justices. After weeks of publicizing our candidates, almost a third of the Democrats voted for the non-party candidate.

With respect to the Working Families primary, statistically, zero percent of their membership showed up to vote.

This is even more troubling knowing that the Conservatives were successful with their “dirty tricks,” to have two of their members, masquerading as Working Families members, run against Democrats for one of their lines, and to conduct a write-in campaign to blur the outcome of the vote, as small as it was.

So, instead of sitting around and kvelling on the primary, which was a shanda (less than 10 percent of Democrats voted), we should be working to energize our membership, which is challenging, since there is no opposition at the top of the ticket.

Stephen Ring

Hampton Bays