Welcome back to #wonkywednesday. Each week I take a deep dive into the registration and election data that makes up our home, Onondaga County. This week I continue my 4-week look back at the June 28, 2022, primary. This year we have two primaries because of the disastrous redistricting process in New York. On August 23rd, 2022, we will have the primaries for Congress and NY Senate. However, we just certified the June primary where Onondaga County held Democratic and Republican primaries for Governor, a Democratic primary for Lt. Governor, and members of the Pompey Town GOP Committee. In other parts of New York Assembly primaries happened as well, but we had none in Onondaga County. This week I will examine Absentee & Election Day Balloting during the June 2022 Primary.
Election Day Balloting is still by far the most popular form of balloting. In the June 2022 primary it accounted for 81% of the ballots cast in the primary, while Early Voting was 9% and Absentee voting also 9%. We had two hundred Affidavit ballots, some were cast on Early Voting, some on Election Day but all were counted after Election Day, so we keep that count separate. Unlike Absentee and Early Voting, the use of Election Day is more split with the parties. Democrats made up 55% of the Election Day ballots while the GOP made up 45% of the ballots.
Early Voting for primaries did not start until the June combined Presidential and local primaries in 2020. Of course, the COVID crisis was in full swing at that point as well. The June 2022 primary not only had more Election Day voters then the previous two it was also the highest percentage of the last two years. This is mainly due to the drop in absentee voting as the COVID crisis wanes. Early Voting percentages have grown the last three years, but Election Day percentage for a primary was at an all-time high this year as fears over virus contraction saw voters abandon absentees and either vote Early or more often on Election Day.
We deployed 148 Polling Places for the June primary. Our top ten polling places is a list of the usual suspects based on voter enrollment. Some surprises are the N. Syracuse Community Center which saw a surge in activity because a nearby polling center (Bellewood Baptist Church) was merged into it for the June primary due to a scheduling issue. Gillette Road Middle School took on all of the election Districts of the old Believer’s chapel polling place that no longer wished to be a polling place after last year. The highest city site is Spiritual Renewal on the east side. We made some efforts to spread out the population of the American Valley Legon and Bellevue Heights Church in the city to reduce lines at these sites and that resulted in them dropping out of the top ten of polling sites.
In looking at voters per hours we are seeing a definitive pattern emerge for the last three primaries. No matter the size of Election Day turnout Primary day starts off light in the norming and steadily builds throughout the day. This reaches a crescendo of activity in the 5pm hour. Voter activity drops but stays strong comparatively right until 9pm. The few stragglers you see after9pm are voters who were in line before 9pm and polls closing.
Next week I will finish my look back at the June primary with a final wrap up on overall turnout. Later in August the #wonkywendesday series will be renamed the #WeeklyWonk and releasing on the weekends. This will allow me more time to get data and branch out with some editorial content on election reform. So, stay tuned for future articles.