North Country Voter Turnout Described As HeavyPosted: Updated:
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, voter turnout in the north country was described as heavy.
Officials with boards of elections in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties said turnout was better than 2014, the last midterm election.
They also said the turnout, in places, was approaching levels seen in 2016, when President Trump was elected.
Midterm elections are called that because they take place near the midpoint of a president's four-year term of office.
They typically generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections.
In the last mid-term, about 45 percent of north country voters voted and in 2016, about 70 percent did.
"I'll just be voting right straight across, I'll just flip every lever down and vote Republican," said Steve Hanno, Lowville resident.
But not everyone casting their ballot Tuesday shared his sentiment.
"I'm a Democrat, but I think we need to have more in there," said Rita Jackson, Lowville resident.
"I'm voting because it is our given right and it's time for some changes," said Penny Rowsam, Lowville resident.
Meanwhile, voters in Watertown have been so eager to exercise their civic duty that officials say when they arrived, three people were waiting outside this polling location before it opened at 6 in the morning.
One of the election inspectors at the City of Watertown Fire Department's polling location said that turnout has been pretty high.
"The turnout today has been a lot heavier than we've had in similar elections, we have had on average 40 people per hour," said Douglas Anderson, election inspector.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, 278 people had already cast their ballot in Watertown's Districts 12 and 2. There are about 1,200 people eligible to vote in those district. Some of these voters will tell you a lot's a stake.
"I came out to vote today to make sure that Donald Trump's people win this election," said Patrick Wilder, Watertown resident.
Some are regarding this midterm election as a referendum on President Trump and the Republican Party.
According to Wikipedia, the party of the incumbent president tends to lose ground during midterm elections: over the past 21 midterm elections, the president's party has lost an average 30 seats in the House, and an average four seats in the Senate; moreover, in only two of those has the president's party gained seats in both houses.