By Naiya Brooks Syracuse, N.Y. (NCC News) — New York state is known for its infamously low voter turnout, especially on primary day.
“Personally I was expecting a very low turnout, but this may be even lower than I was expecting,” said Onondaga County Elections Inspector Richard Block.
Tuesday marked New York’s very first June primary and this is Block’s reaction to having only having two people show up to vote at the Huntington Hall voting site on Marshall Street in Syracuse.
Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny already predicted the low turnout.
“It’s probably going to be a lower turnout, usually in an election of this magnitude we have anywhere between 10% to 15% turnout if we’re lucky,” Czarny said.
But he’s pretty sure that it’ll improve with new voting laws that’ll go into effect later this year and early next year.
“This is the last old fashioned election, because now we have paper poll books, noon nine, no early voting, that all changes after this election,” said Czarny. “We’re going to have early voting, we’re going to have open hours from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. instead of noon to 9. We’re going to have a lot more ability for people to register to vote and easier to vote.”
Voting in New York will look totally different after this year. In addition to the changes Czarny listed, there will also be: pre-registration for minors, universal transference of voter registration, “no excuse” voting by mail and more.
But, Block still needs some convincing that it’ll help the turnout increase.
“It should help, put it this way, it couldn’t get worse or get less,” Block said.
In the end, Czarny and Block are looking forward and hoping for better results in the future.
“It’s your civic duty to go out and vote,” said Czarny.
“You have the right to vote so exercise the right to vote,” said Block.
Click here for a full list of primary winners. The next general election will be November 5, 2019, and polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the first time in New York state.