The deadline for designating petitions for candidates is next Thursday
CANANDAIGUA — Summer weather appears to be finally here, but fall is right around the corner: Primary Day is a little over nine weeks away, and Election Day is in 17 weeks.
And in the next week, the action at the Ontario County Board of Elections will be heating up.
“This is really the busiest time of year, outside of the 25 days before the election and Election Day,” said Michael Northrup, Republican Board of Elections commissioner.
Here’s why. The candidates' designating petition-filing period for the primary begins Monday and ends July 13.
Some slates already have been announced, including the Conservative Party and Canandaigua Democratic candidates.
Successful filing of petitions — and withstanding any challenges to those petitions — will help to firm up who will be on the ballot in your city or town. And there promises to be many names, with or without a contested race.
The terms for each of the town supervisors, with the exception of Victor Supervisor Jack Marren, are up this year. That’s 15 names right off the bat — without any potential opponents.
A host of town offices are up, too: town clerks, council members, town justices, highway superintendents and tax collectors. Although the Victor supervisor seat is not up this year, those of the town clerk, highway superintendent and two council seats are.
Every seat, including the mayor’s, is up on Canandaigua City Council. Two city supervisor seats are up. And a little farther east in the county, three Geneva city supervisor seats are up, as is a city judgeship.
And we haven’t even mentioned an Ontario County district attorney’s race that already has people talking about who will replace retiring DA R. Michael Tantillo.
Preparation this time of year is what makes the primary and general elections go later on.
But despite so many local races — and presumably so many familiar faces — don’t expect voters to go out to the polls like they did last year.
The turnout for the presidential race in which Donald Trump emerged triumphant over Hillary Clinton was almost 76 percent a year ago, Northrup said. The primary turnout for a local election year will be much lower, based on past experience, he said.
The primary election may be about 30 percent; the general election about 40 to 50 percent, he said.
“Depending on the contest and if it’s a contested race or not,” Northrup said.
More details, including voter registration and absentee and military voting, can be found on the Board of Elections website at http://www.co.ontario.ny.us/107/Board-of-Elections.
Political Roundup, a clearinghouse of announcements and developments in local politics, runs on Fridays in the Daily Messenger. To submit an item for consideration, email senior reporter Julie Sherwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.