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NYC had an abysmally low voter turnout in Tuesday’s primary election

Written by
Clayton Guse

On Tuesday, New York held one of its most important elections in four years. Voters across the city headed out to the polls to select their party's nominee for a medley of races, the most notable of which was the democratic nominee for mayor (Bill de Blasio won handily). But here's the thing: Hardly anyone showed up.

Roughly 440,000 ballots were cast in the democratic mayoral primary, according to unofficial data from the New York City Board of Elections. That accounts for just 14 percent of active registered democrats in the city (as of last April) and marks a 53 percent drop in turnout compared to the 2016 democratic presidential primary.

The dismal showing at the polls on Tuesday isn't entirely surprising. De Blasio was all but a shoo-in for the nomination and is poised to coast into a second term in the general election on November 7. Nevertheless, during a year in which polarized politics are at the forefront of national conversation and local issues like public transportation and affordable housing are stirring raucous debate, one would hope that New Yorkers would show up to the polls en masse. 

Tuesday's turnout wasn't a record low for New York democrats, however. Crain's points out that in 2009 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg was securing a third term, roughly 300,000 voters showed up for the primary. A poor showing at the polls is nothing new for de Blasio, however. When he was elected mayor in 2013's general election, a record low of 24 percent of registered voters turned out. 

Here's hoping the city's residents do a better job of completing their civic duty this November. If you're not registered to vote, be sure to do so by October 13. The Board of Elections has a simple process, so get on it, New Yorkers. 

Here's a full breakdown of Tuesday's voter turnout:

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