SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– Early voting in Onondaga County kicked off Saturday, and Syracuse Democrats and Republicans headed to the polls to decide who they want to face Mayor Walsh in November.
The day got off to a slow start but voters trickled into the four polling locations across the county to cast their ballots.
Democratic Elections Commissioner, Dustin Czarny, said he wasn’t surprised by the low turnout.
“We’ve already had a couple dozen of people come out to vote in the first 10 minutes across the county, obviously that’s low but there’s not many people eligible to vote,” he said.
That’s because you have to be a registered Democrat or Republican to vote in primary elections and voter turnout for the primaries is historically lower than general elections.
Despite this low turnout, the county wanted to make sure those that did qualify to vote in the primaries had every opportunity to do so and Czarny said offering early voting is the best way to increase voter turnout.
“I think early voting and offering a three-stream electoral model where you have early voting and ample use of absentees and of course election day is the healthiest way to run an election,” he said.
Voters said having the option to vote early, especially on the weekend, is not only convenient but more practical.
“It’s everybody’s duty to vote if you care about who’s leading our community and Syracuse is an important place,” said voter Susan Ketter.
To check if you are eligible to vote in the primaries you can click here.