**Article contains updates from our original post at Binghamton Political Buzz Examiner.com**
With the quickly upcoming New York State primaries just over 2 weeks away, the stage for the 2014 mid-term elections is almost set. In quick order the candidates for State and local offices will be finalized and campaign season will begin in earnest. The only real question is if voters will notice.
According to the NY State Bar Association, in a Jan. 2013 study, the 2010 mid-term elections resulted in New York being ranked 48th in voter turnout. That same study showed less than 64% of eligible voters took part in the mid-terms and voter registration for New York was the sixteenth worst in the nation.
This news, combined with the comments of pollsters (discussed in our article The biggest loser in 2014 could be… You) stating that lower than average voter turnout is expected nationally creates a disturbing picture. A picture that bodes well for incumbent politicians by default – regardless of indictments and investigations of corruption. Even the attempts at political espionage or the outright desertion of political party members can be excused if voters just don’t come out and vote.
To combat this potential win via voter apathy, several organizations and individuals are working together to register voters and motivate the public. A critical part of this action is the non-partisan nature of the desire to increase voter turnout. The deadline for registering for the November elections is October 15, 2014.
A key spokesperson has been our own Michael Vasquez. On August 14, 2014 Mr. Vasquez was interviewed on WUTQ’s Talk of the Town with Mark Piersma to discuss the problem and the potential result of voter apathy. On Saturday, the Southern Tier Latinos organization, voter registration forms were made available to members attending the organization’s monthly dance celebration. Jose Caceres, leader of the organization said,
“Southern Tier Latinos would like to thank Michael Vasquez for providing the voting registration forms during our last dance. It is part of making sure our votes count… we support and we are committed to increasing the number of voters during the next election.“
On Monday, August 18, 2014, Mr. Vasquez appeared at the monthly meeting of the American for the Restoration of the Constitution at the Vestal Public Library to discuss the matter.
The efforts of these groups and individuals to spur non- partisan voter registration, coupled with the response to the NY-22 congressional primary which nearly doubled the voter turnout from 2010, could help to prove the pollsters and recent history of New York wrong. But the final tally is far from clear or predictable. Especially in a state that from 2008 – 2012 lost registered voters.
However many voters do show up, they will vote on significant issues that may alter the course of New York State. From a choice of Governor that on the one hand is being investigated for corruption of a corruption commission, to the other hand where Hydrofracking would finally find a home in the State. The choices don’t diminish as they reach the local level. Broome County, as an example, has the explosive revelation of a political party trying to hire a political spy which is sure to ignite campaign debates at all levels.
Ultimately every vote will count, and those that do not vote might even matter more in what could have been done. But only time will tell.
Part 2 of the discussion by Michael “Vass” Vasquez, on the power of social media for grassroots organizations.
To learn more about how you can help get out the vote, contact your local political party or grassroots organization, or contact M V Consulting, Inc