Just How Heavy Was Voter Turnout Tuesday?Posted: Updated:
Voters packed polling locations in the north country Tuesday and we heard a lot of this:
"The turnout today has been a lot heavier than we have had in similar elections, we have had about 40 people per hour," said Douglas Anderson, elections inspector.
As it turns out, voter turnout was higher in the north country than the last mid-term election in 2014. We measured using the state Assembly race between Addie Jenne and Mark Walczyk for the so-called River District.
The River District is a good bellwether for the north country because it extends from the bottom of Jefferson County all along Lake Ontario and up the St. Lawrence River to Massena in St. Lawrence County.
In Tuesday's election, there was a 55 percent voter turnout in the River District - about 39,000 voters cast their ballot. That's higher than the 2014 midterm election, when there was a 46 percent voter turn out. Tuesday's turnout was about midway between 2014 and 2016, the year President Trump was elected, when 68 percent of voters in the River District cast their ballot.
"Well, I'm happy the turnout was good. The turnout was higher than we even expected. I knew it would be a little higher than the last governor's race in 2014, but it was much higher, it was close to the presidential election in 2016," said Babette Hall, Democratic commissioner at the Jefferson County Board of Elections.
And the strong turnout in northern New York was part of a national wave that saw 113 million people vote, the first midterm in history to exceed 100 million votes.