New York Had the Second-Lowest Voter Turnout So Far This Election Season

In The Nation, Ari Berman takes a look at New York’s primary last week:

 “3 million New Yorkers, 27 percent of the electorate, didn’t get to vote because they weren’t registered with the Democratic or Republican parties, and the deadline to change party affiliation was an absurd 193 days before the April 19 primary, as I reported on Monday.

As a result, only 19.7 percent of eligible New Yorkers cast a ballot, the second-lowest voter turnout among primary states after Louisiana, according to elections expert Michael McDonald. There were over 900 calls from frustrated voters to the Election Protection Coalition, more than in any other primary state.

These problems could have been avoided if New York had electoral reforms like same-day voter registration and early voting. Comptroller Stringer recently proposed a number of good policies that would make it easier to vote and have been introduced in the New York legislature. Hopefully the problems in the primary will lead to legislative action.

In a tweet today, Jerry Skurnik points out that the numbers mentioned in the article may be off a bit because New York only permits enrolled persons to vote. He also points out that turnout among registered Democrats was 31% and 32% for Republicans.



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