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September 14, 2016 - 10:12am

Five votes cast in two state senate primaries yesterday

posted by Howard B. Owens in Elections, news.

The turnout was low, lower than expected, in a pair of primary elections held yesterday that if not for some prior planning from the county's election commissioners could have cost county taxpayers $17,000.

Four people voted in the Reform Party primary for the 61st State Senate District, and all four votes went to incumbent Michael Ranzenhofer, who apparently was facing a write-in challenger, but there were no write-in votes in Genesee County.

In the Working Families primary for the same race, the Democrat's nominee Tom Loughran defeated Andrea Liszka 1-0.

All of the voting was carried out at the Elections Office in County Building #1. If Commissioners Dick Siebert and Lorie Longhany hadn't devised a new policy for small elections, the balloting would have been held at locations in each of the county's towns. By setting up one polling location, the county was able to hold the primaries at essentially no cost.

In explaining the plan a week ago to county legislators, Siebert said the turnout was expected to be only 15 to 16 voters.

"That might be a high estimate," Longhany said.

Ed Hartgrove
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You know, when I first read Howard's September 8, 2016 article ( http://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/election-commissioners-elimina... ), I had two thoughts.

My first thought was, "Hooray! Finally, someone has figured out how to save taxpayer's money".

Now, who could have a problem with that? One might think the answer to that question would be, "Nobody!".

After all, you would only have to read comments on "social media" (ie. Facebook, thebatavian, etc.) to realize people's thoughts on taxation (wasn't taxation one of the ingredients that led to the Revolutionary War?).

Yes, it might appear to be a good idea to save the (approx.) $17,000 that the election-commissioners' plan targeted.

But, then, I extrapolated that theory. What "savings" might be realized if the upcoming presidential election was conducted in the same way? Instead of having to provide, prepare, and oversee, the thousands of voting (machines, places AND personnel) in every village, town and city location, why not consolidate them in one "central" location? In New York state, that would be in Madison County (NY geographic center: 12 mi. S of Oneida and 26 mi. SW of Utica). Now, imagine every state doing that same thing. Imagine living in Brownsville, Texas, and having to travel the 418 miles (one way) to vote in Brady, Texas.

How many New York state people that (normally) vote in the presidential election would travel to Madison County (NY) to cast their votes? Although I have no provable answer to that question, I'd venture a guess that less than 2% of eligible voters would do that. Yes, there would probably be a savings (of hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions) of taxpayer's money. But, at what peril?

How many people from Pavilion, or Bergen, or Alabama, that MIGHT have voted in their village or town halls, didn't vote, solely because they couldn't/didn't have the resources/time/inclination to travel to Batavia to cast their vote? No one knows, of course. As per Howard's September 8, 2016 article, election commissioner Dick Siebert said the expected turnout is only 15 to 16 voters. It's anybody's guess as to how many didn't vote, solely because of the voting site "consolidation".

Yes, money saved can (sometimes) be a good idea. But, it also could have repercussions.

Jason Crater
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Joined: Aug 25 2009 - 10:01am

The question you're asking can be summed up in an algebraic equation.

X = Y-5

Chad Flint
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Joined: Aug 27 2008 - 9:00pm

The mere fact that there is not a way to vote online is absurd.

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