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New York’s Primary A Waste of Money

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I went and voted yesterday in the Republican Presidential primary because I felt it was my duty.  It took just a few minutes, but two hours after my polling place in Niagara County opened at noon I was just the ninth person to come in and vote. There were three people seated at the table and all of them wanted to help me sign in and another guy operating the voting machine nearly helped me carry the ballot.  Nice that they wanted to be so helpful, but the whole scene was pretty sad.

In Erie County, Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr says turnout for primaries is about 30 percent.   Yesterday’s turnout was lower than that, probably because people feel the candidate has already been determined and New York State’s 95 delegates are just being swept up in the flow.

Because the date of the primary is so late in the game, interest is diminished.  The April 24th date is actually a compromise between Republicans who want New York’s primary to take place in February and Democrats who want the primary in June.  So April it is.

Of the four candidates that appeared on the ballot, one of the candidates, Rick Santorum, has already pulled out.  Ron Paul is viewed as the longest of longshots and Newt Gingrich’s campaign is just about out of money.  So that leaves Mitt Romney to inherit all of the state’s delegates.

Canisius College Political Science professor Kevin Hardwick said over the weekend New York’s late primary date was like standing in line for 3 hours for tickets to a show only to arrive at the window and see it slammed shut with a “sold out” sign.  That comment got him an invitation to appear on last night’s The Daily Show on the Comedy Network.

Voters in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Pennsylvania also went to the polls yesterday and just like New York the situation is the same in those states.  Turnout was low.

According to WIVB-TV, eight hours after one polling place in Buffalo opened its doors they still hadn’t seen a single voter come thru the door.  Still, it’s costing Erie County $100,000 to put on a show that very few people are willing to see.

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