MAYVILLE – Primary Day 2016 was a success in Chautauqua County.
That’s the assessment from Chautauqua County Democratic Board of Election Commissioner Norman Green, who spoke with WRFA on Wednesday to provide a recap of Tuesday’s vote.
“We thought it was one of the more excellent primary elections,” Green said. “Poll sites all were running efficiently. As far as voting machines, they were working well and doing what they needed to do, so we were pretty happy.”
Green said that because both the Republicans and Democrats had contested races, it meant that more voters from both parties were coming out to vote in the primary.
New York runs a closed primary system and across the state there were reports of voters being told they were not registered with either of the two political parties. Those who were not listed as a Republican or a Democrat but felt that they should have been should have been given the opportunity to vote through an affidavit ballot. Green said that’s what local poll workers were also instructed to do here in Chautauqua County.
“We have hundreds of affidavit ballots to review,” Green said. “Our position is everybody should have the right to cast a ballot and no one should be turned away from the polls. So everyone who came in either had the right to vote on the machines, in which case the vote was counted on primary night, or they had the chance to vote on a provisional ballot – an affidavit – and that’s in an envelope and if its determined that they were actually a member of that political party, we’ll count that ballot.”
Green said that all affidavit ballots and absentee ballots will be opened next Tuesday and counted. He said that in Chautauqua County, any voter who filed an affidavit ballot will be informed on whether or not the ballot was accepted and added to the final vote tally. If an affidavit ballot is not accepted by the board of elections, a voter does have the option to contest that decision in court.
The unofficial primary night total in the Democratic Presidential Primary for Chautauqua County was 4,127 for Bernie Sanders and 3,516 for Hillary Clinton.
On the GOP side, Donald Trump picked up the most votes with 4,722, while John Kasich came in second with 2,130 and Ted Cruz came in third with 1,865.
Across the state, Trump was also the winner for the GOP while Clinton was the winner for the Democrats. As a result, Trump will receive 89 delegates while Kasich will receive 4. On the Democratic side, Clinton picked up 139 designated delegates while Sanders received 106.