By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday, Primary Day, there was no polling in the 74th Assembly District, due to no uncontested races. However, voters in the district, which includes Stuyvesant Town and Kips Bay, weren’t given notice of this, leading some to venture out to do their civic duty and be counted as they would do any other voting day.
“Just walked to polling place at 283 Avenue C only to discover nothing going on and definitely no signs,” one annoyed reader told Town & Village in an email on Tuesday. “Went to security to be informed that the Board of Elections notified them at about noon that since no one was running in our district they would save money and not open. Save money great… but what else do they have to do but inform voters?”
The reader, Mary Travers, noted that she later saw that on page 3 of a pamphlet mailed to voters that it does mention people should call the board to confirm there is a local primary. But, she added, “One has to read the booklet to be informed.”
This isn’t the first time voters in Stuy Town have been left in the dark about the cancellation of a primary. T&V reported on the same thing occurring last year when there were also no contested primary races in the 74th District. That time too no one knew where there polling place was and even Stuy Town staff had apparently been kept in the dark. A spokesperson for the BOE told us at the time this was due to the cost of opening polling places which the BOE determined wasn’t worth it when there are no contested races. Asked about the reason for lack of notice, the rep then blamed the cost of sending out mailers.
T&V’s editor would like it noted to the BOE: Reaching out to local newspapers and requesting an announcement of a primary cancellation ahead of time wouldn’t cost the Board of Elections a dime and would save voters a lot of time and aggravation.
In somewhat related news, in a downtown primary, Democrat Yuh-Line Niou beat Alice Cancel for the Assembly seat previously occupied by former Speaker Sheldon Silver. Cancel had won the special election following Silver’s ouster.