The trickle of voters at most Rockland County polls does not
surprise County Election Commissioner Lou Babcock. Even though it is an “off year” because there
are no state or national elections, he said some areas are seeing a higher than
usual turnout for a primary election.
“I don’t expect a tremendous turnout but more than normal for an ‘off-year’,” he said this afternoon.
Babcock, the county’s Republican elections commissioner, said when he visited polls at around 8 a.m., they already had 20 votes cast. He said that was a fairly good turnout taking into account the polls opened at 6 a.m.
The board of elections has seen a higher number of absentee ballots requests. Typically they came from people who were not ambulatory, hospitalized or serving with the military but Babcock said requirements have been made more liberal and the number requested has increased.
In Clarkstown 1,059 absentee ballots were sent out and 615 have been returned to the board. In Orangetown 374 absentee ballots were sent out and 160 were already returned. In order to be counted absentee ballots must be postmarked by yesterday or hand delivered today.
The calls coming into the Board of Elections deal with electioneering complaints. No problems with the ballot scanners have been reported. Babcock said in highly contested races in Spring Valley and Haverstraw some candidates ventured over the 100 foot line that prevents them from getting too close to the polls.
“People want to win and they’re campaigning hard,” he said.
The polls close at 9 p.m. and Babcock expects some results to be posted on the board of elections website by 9:30 p.m. and updates every 10 to 15 minutes with final numbers available by 11:30 p.m.