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Voter registration remains high in Onondaga County, June primaries have had good turnouts

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media

Friday is the deadline for any non-enrolled voter to sign up with a party if they want to vote in the June primary. But Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny doesn’t expect there to be any mad dash for registration, simply because numbers now are so high.

"We’re at the highest registration we’ve ever been,” Czarny said. “We’re higher than we were last year still because registration has been more steady the last few months as opposed to last-minute rush. I think that’s because people are registering online with Department of Motor Vehicles, which is spreading registration over a longer time period.”

June’s primary will reflect all of the changes that have marked elections in New York state over the past few years, starting with the date. The state combined all primaries to June in 2019, and Czarny said so far, the move from September to June hasn’t hurt turnout.

"The two June primaries have seen higher turnout,” Czarny said. “Whether that’s just June or a variety of factors involved, there’s been higher turnout.”

Voters next month can also use the COVID exemption and vote by mail, and there will be eight days of early voting available at four spots across the county. The race for mayor of Syracuse is inarguably the highest-profile race, with primaries for both Democrats and Republicans. But there are a smattering of other races across the county, including some that involve the Conservative and Working Family parties.  Czarny hopes for a 50% turnout, but isn’t terribly optimistic. He points out that in many primaries, they're the only election in some races.

“They may not even have opposite party opposition in the general election, or just token election,” Czarny said. “So, if you’re eligible to vote in the primary, you actually have more impact."

Information on registering for the June primary is available at all county Board of Election websites.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.