An unpromising start
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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, J 12 UNE 18-24, 2021 BTR
When early voting polling
places across New York
City opened on Oct. 24,
2020 for the fi rst voters in the presidential
election, they saw a massive
turnout — more than 93,000 people
across the fi ve boroughs on the fi rst
ut on June 12, 2021, the fi rst day
of early voting in the all-important
Democratic primary for mayor, just
16,867 people showed up to vote —
still a good number for a beautiful
Saturday in June, but just 17% of the
turnout seen on Oct. 24, 2020.
It’s a bad sign that the voter interest
in this election — focused
primarily on city government — is
nothing close to last year’s heated
We’ve said it before, and it bears
repeating: The local elections matter,
too — and, in many respects, the
people elected to represent us at City
Hall and Gracie Mansion have a far
greater impact on our everyday
lives than those working in Albany
or Washington, DC.
We’re about to select a new mayor
to lead the city out of the worst health
crisis in a century which devastated
The mayor, among other responsibilities,
oversees the NYPD and
the public school system — and will
choose a police commissioner and a
schools chancellor refl ecting their
priorities and reshaping how our
streets are protected, and our children
All but a handful of City Council
seats are up for grabs in this election.
They will elect a new speaker
who will hold great infl uence in
city government, working with the
mayor to shape budgets and enact
They will also be tasked with
handling land use issues and passing
new regulations which will impact
every New Yorker almost on a
And in this city where registered
Democrats outnumber registered Republicans
by more than a 3-1 margin,
the winners of the June 22 primaries
are almost certain to win their seats
in the November general election.
If you were passionate about voting
last November and were willing
to stand in line to cast your ballot,
you ought to do the same in the week
ahead — because this primary matters
just as much to the life of our
To the victors belong the spoils
— but to the apathetic non-voters belong
the silent shame from refusing
to make their voices heard when they
had the chance.
A woman lines up to vote. Photo by Dean Moses