MONTICELLO, NY — In the Sullivan County elections this year, one of the most visible races was that for county clerk between Democrat David Sager and Republican Russell Reeves. There was a …
MONTICELLO, NY — In the Sullivan County elections this year, one of the most visible races was that for county clerk between Democrat David Sager and Republican Russell Reeves. There was a total of 14,737 ballots counted in the race, and Reeves won by an unofficial count of 8,857 to 5,876. In the last county clerk race in 2015, Republican Dan Briggs was unopposed, and the total of votes counted was about 11,870, roughly 2,500 fewer votes than the total cast this year.
There were several other contested races this year, as opposed to four years ago when incumbents ran unopposed. In the 2015 race for county legislator from the First Legislative District, Democrat Scott Samuelson had no challenger and received 1,809 votes. This year Samuelson was challenged by Republican Robert Doherty, who ran on Conservative and Independence lines. The vote was 800 for Samuelson and 1,268 for Doherty, for a total of 2,068, an increase of nearly 14 percent.
Some races were much closer this time around. In District Nine in 2015, Republican Alan Sorenson received 1,252 votes running against Democrat Aleta Gomez, who received 522 votes. This time around Sorensen received 792 votes against Democrat George Nikolados who received 773, making this contest close enough that the outcome could change once absentee ballots are counted.
In contests where the candidates were the same two people who ran against each other four years ago, the outcomes were not much different this time around. This year, Democrat Gene Benson received 608 votes and Republican incumbent Joe Perrello, Sr. received 618, making the race close enough that the outcome may change after absentee votes are counted. Four years ago, the final tally had Benson with 719 votes and Perrello, Sr. with 757.
Turnout for the 2019 off-year local elections were up over the last similar elections, but not nearly as much as the 2018 election, when voters went to the polls in record numbers. In that year, county-wide Sullivan voters cast 25,533 votes for governor. The ultimate winner, Gov. Cuomo, received more votes than any governor in the history of the state. In the race for the New York 19th congressional seat, 25,533 residents cast votes, and again in Sullivan County more than half were cast against the ultimate winner Rep. Antonio Delgado. Voters also voted in a Democratic majority in the state Senate with a wave of victories that included one for Sen. Jen Metzger.
According to a new Gallup poll released on November 7, 64 percent of voters say they are “more enthusiastic” about voting next year compared to previous years while 28 percent are “less enthusiastic.” Historically that leads to an increase in voter turnout. In advance of the 2016 presidential election, fewer than half of voters said they were “more enthusiastic” about voting in the coming election.