That’s the number of registered Democratic voters in Brooklyn who bothered to show up and cast their ballots in the September primary in an overwhelmingly Democratic borough. Approximately 166,381 votes were cast in that primary out of 1,102,087 registered Democratic voters in Brooklyn.
What word could possibly describe a 15 percent turnout in an election? Anemic comes to mind; disgraceful is another good one.
Don’t get us wrong, voter apathy isn’t isolated to Democrats and primaries. Four years ago, when New York City elected its first new mayor in a dozen years, just 24 percent of registered voters bothered to show up at the polls. Bill de Blasio won that election in a landslide, a fait accompli that pollsters had been predicting for weeks. Barring something shocking, he’s about to be easily re-elected by New Yorkers on November 7.
The citywide incumbents are up against little known or underwhelming opposition. Just a handful of local City Council races are competitive; Brooklyn’s hottest contest is right here in southwest Brooklyn — the 43th District race between Democrat Justin Brannan, Republican/Conservative John Quaglione and the Reform Party’s Bob Capano.
Even so, we suspect many Brooklyn voters might feel inclined to sit this election out. And they couldn’t be more wrong.
If we learned nothing else from last year’s election, it’s that the only poll number that counts is the final vote tally on Election Day. Every vote does indeed count. It’s not decided by a university polling operation, or how much money a candidate spends, or a candidate’s get-out-the-vote operations. Each election is in the voters’ hands. We are the ones who control not only our own destiny, but that of those on the ballot.
If you like the way things are going in the city, then vote for those in charge. If you don’t like the way things are, then vote for somebody else. It’s easy to complain about a candidate on social media, but that accomplishes next to nothing. Voting means more; it’s one of the best acts of protest or affirmation a citizen can make toward government.
Tuesday, November 7, every registered Brooklyn voter should make the effort to participate in their democracy. Voting takes only a few minutes out of your day, but what you do with that time will have a long-lasting impact on the future of Brooklyn and New York City.
Use your time wisely and go vote!