It would be supremely ironic if liberal Democrats suppressed their own vote with their “Can’t Beat Cuomo” mantra. One indicator is the 10% voter participation rate in the Dem’s hotly contested primary on September 9 between Governor Andrew Cuomo and his challenger Fordham University Law Professor Zephyr Teachout.
This was a contest where the Democrats’ War On Women was on full display. Mr. Cuomo reportedly spent millions from his war chest to shut down Teachout’s candidacy — including two legal challenges and his refusal to debate (fear?). Voter participation rates in primary elections are said to be traditionally low — but 10% in a race that had so much energy around it?
This “very low-turnout primary win” was noted elsewhere. For example, Capital New York, a political news and commentary website, said (emphasis added):
“While voter turnout is often low in a primary race in New York State, especially when the contest isn’t expected to be close, as was the case with Cuomo’s race against Zephyr Teachout, political scientists said the numbers from Tuesday night were particularly abysmal. Link: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/albany/2014/09/8552295/cuomos-very-low-turnout-primary-win
Meanwhile, on the grassroots trail, I and colleague Don Smith have been working to energize and mobilize voters from several counties including Chautauqua, Cattauragus, Wayne, Seneca and Ontario.
As we give these presentations across counties, anecdotes are encouraging. In Wayne County, for example, two persons approached me after the presentation. One told of a friend, described as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) with unpredictable voting patterns, who had attended our presentation in Ontario County.
The RINO told this gentleman that not only will he and his wife vote for Astorino/Moss, but they each will get four others persons to the polls on Nov. 4.
Another gentleman told me he helped five individuals fill out their voter registration forms and he will take them to the polls to vote on Nov. 4.
At yet another gathering in Chautauqua County, a member of the audience told with good humor of how he discovered to his astonishment that his 80-year-old mom revealed she was not registered to vote. Being a good son, he helped her register and promised to take her to the polls on Nov. 4.
Last month I helped two friends fill out their voter registration forms — a married couple. He said he had never voted and she hadn’t voted for more than 20 years. I called him this week to see if they received their post cards from the county elections bureau. He was in a tree stand — oops! I said, I’ll hang up now; but he said, “No, the traffic is low!” He confirmed that he received his card and it was in his wallet as we spoke. They, like so many we’ve talked with, are energized and mobilized to get out the vote.
Perhaps these are small anecdotes but they speak to a level of energy out there, including among folks who have not voted or are not regular voters.
The message is clear: we cannot afford to be among the 2/3rds who don’t vote if we want to take back our political freedom and put an end to the corruption, name calling and flight of citizens and businesses from New York State. Issues range from the unSAFE Act (and more to come), Common Core, Taxes, pay-to-play politics and more.
If you want your vote to make a difference — this is the year!