Voters facing very high abstention in NYC primaries: “People should be encouraged to vote more to be able to complain”

Puerto Rican Emilio Santiago voted in the Bronx and criticized the passivity of the voters of the Big Apple

Photo: Fernando Martínez / Impremedia

Since arriving in New York City in 1968, the Puerto Rican musician Emilio Santiagoknown as the ‘Chino Taino’, assures that he has a kind of “fixation”: vote in all processes corresponding electoral

And this Tuesday, when New Yorkers chose in a primary election the Democratic and Republican candidates who will run for governor, lieutenant governor, seats in the State Assembly and judges from each civil circuit, the Bronx-resident islander also attended a process historically marked by very low participation.

“Everything is very fast. I think there are no excuses for people not to think. I always vote. And in the next primaries in August I will also do it. We need people to lose that bad habit of ignoring these processes”, criticized Emilio, leaving the voting center located in the Avenida Grand Concourse.

In effect, the next August 23, will be held in New York other internal ones to elect candidates for the House of Representatives and state senators. general elections will be on November 8.

“If you have to vote three and four times in a year, must be done. People just like to complain, but they don’t have an opinion when needed. It’s pitiful. With all the information and facilities there are. And most people don’t participate,” said the 78 year old voter.

Big debates, few voters

Even during the early voting of the June 18-26, only 86,890 Big Apple voters cast their votes, according to the New York City Board of Elections (NYCBOE), compared to 191,197 early voters during the mayoral primaries held in June of last year.

At around 7 p.m., two hours before polls closed, the NYCBOE confirmed that in all five boroughs 369,138 people had voted, a count that included early voting. A very small number of participation, if one takes into account that the total registration of voters in the city of New York is around 4.6 million of voters.

This electoral process was carried out in the midst of great debates that are shaking the country. But in New York City, especially in the poorest neighborhoods, with burning issues of citizen concern like rampant inflation and criminal violence.

“You see many here in the Bronx, right now, on the street corners saying that everything is more expensive. Complaining because they have to take things out of the supermarket cart. They are afraid of being shot. But today they have the opportunity to have their say and be part of a change. And they don’t! What kind of citizens are those?“Shouted a female voter who asked not to be identified, as she left a deserted polling place in the Bronx.

The voters consulted who participated in the election agree that all the facilities were given to guarantee the right to vote. (Photo: F. Martínez)

Indifference without surprises

At most polling places in New York City this Tuesday, the absence of voters and rows was very noticeable.

Although this “drought” of voters, it was not at all a surprise.

In the internal consultation processes of political organizations, where only candidates are chosen, the trend in New York and throughout the country, in recent decades, has been an abstention that exceeds the 92% of voter registration.

In this first round of primaries in 2022, there was no exception to this behavior of indifference from the voters.

Despite the climate of little motivation in this process, the Dominican Celia Solano60, went to vote at the center that corresponds to him in the Bronx.

“I was alone in the center. I was the only one in the room. It is normal. When they are not elections for President or Mayor, people are not motivated. For 30 years I have seen it like this.”, he commented.

To get an idea of ​​the level of historical apathy in this process, in the last primary elections in 2018, from a record close to 11.9 million Democrats in all of New Yorkbarely 1,021,160 participated to select the candidate for governor and 768,000 to choose the flag bearer for lieutenant governor. This implies an abstention rate of more than 93%.

Most of the voters point out that they voted very quickly, without lines, and with abundant support from the electoral staff. (Photo: F. Martínez)

How many voted?

According to the official NYCBOE record in its 6:00 pm update, two hours before the process closes:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Never miss any important news. Subscribe to our newsletter.