LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The Board of Elections was busier than ever last year, closing 2016 with a record number of elections and possibly a record number of voters.
Board of Elections (BOE) Democratic Commissioner David DiPasquale and newly-appointed Republican Commissioner Rebecca Schroeder said that the presidential election likely drew out a high, possibly record high, number of voters county wide. Geneseo registration exploded with the sudden mobilization of student voters at SUNY Geneseo for the spring Village election, where two students were elected to the Village Board of Trustees.
“The big one was of course was the November election,” said DiPasquale, who presented with Schroeder to the Livingston County Public Services Committee Wednesday morning. “Everything ran smoothly for us. We staffed our inspectors well. We had no issues like we had in the Presidential Primary where we had some small lines in Geneseo. Making temporary District 5 at the College really helped out District 2. District 5 had very high turnout, possibly the highest in Geneseo.”
The BOE’s annual statistics included high voter registration, high voter turnout and a record-shattering number of absentee ballots, which came heavily into play in the Geneseo Village election in March.
“You can see that we had 77.6 percent turnout county wide. Other towns were up, but Geneseo had 83 percent turnout,” said DiPasquale. “We sent out 1,957 absentee ballots, the most we have ever had. That broke our 2008 record of 1,700 absentee ballots.”
Livingston County may right now have the highest number of active registered voters in its history.
“Right now we have 39,138 active registered voters,” said DiPasquale. “That’s very high, maybe the highest we’ve ever been. The state also counts inactive voters, so we know we have 40,899 including inactive voters.”
The BOE handled six elections in 2016: village elections in March; the presidential primary in April; school elections in May; library elections in May; state and local primaries in September; and the November election. They look forward to five potential elections in 2017, including several Town Supervisor positions.
“This is a big year for us because every town will have races on their ballots in November,” said DiPasquale.