With a week to go, the elections depend on turnout

A week from today we will get a strong indication of how well India Walton’s campaign for mayor of Buffalo succeeded.  We may have some idea who was elected mayor but we won’t know for sure until sometime later in November.

Byron Brown’s write-in effort to win a fifth term presents some complications for determining the winner in that race.  His campaign is encouraging his supporters to both fill in the bubble in the write-in vote for mayor on the ballot and also write or rubber stamp his name in the accompanying box. 

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What if they held an election and no one ran?  The majority of elections in Erie County this year are uncontested.

Amid all the political fighting and challenges that we have seen in this country in recent years there has been a strange counter phenomenon: voter participation is relatively low.  This has been true in most recent presidential elections (the 62 percent turnout nationally in 2020 among the voting age population was somewhat of an anomaly); in the race for New York governor in 2018 (48 percent); and multiple local elections in Western New York, including this year’s Democratic primary for mayor of Buffalo (21.8 percent).

There are many reasons for low turnouts which pretty much all come down to a voter lack of interest; the “what’s the point of voting, nothing changes” excuse; or “there is no difference between the candidates”; or “my candidate lost his/her primary so I’m sitting this one out.”

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