By: New York Public Interest Research Group
New York City voters “tune out” of non-Presidential elections, that’s according to a new analysis of voting trends issued today by the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG). According to NYPIRG’s review of State Board of Elections data, in elections held in even-numbered years, a smaller percentage of New York City voters participate than their enrollment statistics would expect. However, in Presidential years, New York City voters are closing the gap, in years when the governor is elected, the opposite is true. As seen below, more than one third of all votes cast in Presidential elections are cast by New York City voters, in gubernatorial elections, that percentage shrinks to under 30 percent, and that percentage is dwindling over recent elections.
However, the percentage of New York City residents who are registered to vote is nearly 40 percent, higher than turnout, and significantly higher than the turnout in gubernatorial elections.
According to NYPIRG, if New York City voters went to the polls at rates consistent with their voter enrollment percentages, hundreds of thousands of additional New York City votes would have been cast. In a representative democracy, voting is power. New York City’s weak voting rates, in a state which has a dismal national ranking as well, further diminishes the power of City voters and likely weakens its clout over policy decisions in Albany.