Thursday is primary day in New York, and time for voters enrolled in a party to head to the polls to exercise their right to cast a ballot that will help set the stage for November’s general election.
The right to vote is a linchpin of democracy. Every voter facing a choice should show up at the polls. However, there is ample reason to be concerned that most will simply shrug their shoulders.
As News political reporter Robert J. McCarthy wrote, local experts have their doubts about a large turnout. That voting is taking place on a Thursday, rather than the traditional Tuesday, is unusual, and the odd timing is made worse by the fact that there are no major countywide primary races to pique interest.
Moreover, the usual Democratic Party infighting has been muted in comparison to other years because of an unwelcome spotlight on former Chairman G. Steven Pigeon, leader of the anti-headquarters faction.
Still, there are many town, village and city races and judicial contests that require decisions to set up the November general elections. In Niagara County, the mayor in Niagara Falls is locked in a primary battle, while in Lockport the mayor is awaiting Thursday’s outcome to discover who she will face in two months.
The Erie County Family Court race has generated an unusual amount of interest for a judicial contest, along with television attack ads.
The stakes are high for those vying for office, even if this is not a high-profile election year. Today’s winners will get a boost as they prepare for the November elections.
The Buffalo News ordinarily does not endorse in primary contests, except in districts that are so heavily weighted to one party that winning the primary is tantamount to taking the seat. Such is the case in Buffalo in which there are primary races in the Fillmore and Masten districts.
The News endorsed longtime incumbent David A. Franczyk in the Fillmore District and newcomer Ulysees O. Wingo Sr. in the Masten District.
Voters have too often ignored their civic responsibility to cast their ballots. Low voter turnout is shameful, especially when there are people across the world dying for the cause of democracy.
Prove the experts wrong and show up to vote.