With Four Hours Till Polls Close, Primary Day Draws Few Villagers

votingDaniel Maurer

It’s primary election day, and across the East Village that means a Democratic scrum for district leader positions in two of the three assembly districts that carve up the neighborhood. In the 64th Assembly District, Part C, which includes the Financial District as well as a southern section of the East Village, Linda Belfer and Jeff Galloway are running against incumbents Paul Newell and Jenifer Rajkumarand. To the west, in the 66th District, Part B, the race is (as the Villager noted) between John R. Scott and David B. Reck. The female leader, Jean Grillo, is running for reelection unopposed.

Turnout is typically low for primary elections, and afternoon indicators showed that today’s contests are no exception.

At a 66th district polling station at 200 East 5th Street, coordinator Dolph Klainberg said the turnout was the lowest he had seen. For the polling location’s combined election districts, which Mr. Klainberg said has over 4,000 registered Democrats, only 73 had voted by 2:30 p.m. – he expected to see no more than 150 by the end of the day.

“District leadership is not a hot issue with anybody,” Mr. Klainberg said.

A local resident, David Levy, 51, said he was unaware that it was primary day, though he lives across the street from the polling station. “It didn’t seem like it was something very important, because I had no idea,” he said.

Voting booths will be open until 9 p.m. – specific polling sites for individual election districts can be found by entering a home address into a search tool on the New York City Board of Elections website.

A “Downtown Express” article from September 7 addresses the particulars of today’s races. There is no primary today in the 74th district.

Unpaid party officials that are elected every two years, district leaders act as organizers and can act as intermediaries between community members and elected officials. Each district has a male and female leader and the position is commonly used as a stepping stone to higher office.
Additional reporting by Liv Buli.