Letter to the Editor in the East Hampton Star Oct. 26, 2017
With two weeks to go, anecdotal evidence suggests that many potential voters in our region: 1. don’t know much, if anything, about individual candidates; 2. are unaware of arguments pro and con about the ballot question on a proposed state constitutional convention, and 3. are indifferent to local elections, citing them as a Sisyphus-like expense of energy and a waste of time. In Springs, where I serve as an elections inspector, the turnout at the last (primary) election was pitiable.
While it has been argued that increased numbers of voters in many areas on the East End would likely benefit Democrats over Republicans, especially if more newly enfranchised people turned out to vote, that view has not translated into action. For Democrats, some of whom are still fighting the Sanders-Clinton rift, the results have been self-defeating.
Cynicism is not only a cliché, it is impractical. Numbers count, psychologically as well as demographically, and attract money. Off-year elections presage larger contests, and none is more important for Democrats than capturing the congressional seat for Congressional District 1 held by Trump mini-me Lee Zeldin. Surely every registered Democrat in our region knows someone who is eligible to vote. Sending a so-called message by not voting discourages candidates who have civil and constructive contributions to make to the growth of our region and the fate of our country.
Let it be noted that, as mandated by the board of elections, inspectors with Democratic affiliation serve alongside Republican colleagues and respect the nonpartisan rules of service at the polls.