Turnout light for area village elections
Two write-ins enough to secure one justice seat
CAPITAL REGION No one officially ran for the job of St. Johnsville village justice, and just four people showed up to vote in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Two of those voters wrote the name of local resident Scott Cook on their empty ballot, according to village clerk Karen Crouse, making Cook the winner of a three-year term as justice. Other village elections across the region Tuesday brought in more than four voters, but still racked up lower-than-usual turnouts.
In Fonda, trustees Walter Boyd and Robert Galusha were re-elected with 12 and 10 votes, respectively, without even turning in petitions to get on the ballot.
“We only had 14 voters,” said village clerk JoAnn Downing. “That’s less than half of our last election. Maybe it was just a pain to guess at who wanted the job.”
Across the river, the village of Fultonville brought in a few more voters to choose two trustees.
Incumbent Louis Romano retained his seat with 32 votes and Robyn Rose netted 34. All told, 53 locals cast ballots, which, according to Board of Elections Commissioner Jamie Duchessi, is about half the votes cast in previous elections.
Village election turnout was low in other counties as well. Just 27 voters turned out in the Fulton County villages of Broadablin and Northville, which according to staff at the Fulton County Board of Elections is a bit on the low end of normal.
Schoharie County too saw a decline in voter turnout. In Middleburgh, village clerk Janet Mayer said just 32 people made it to the polls. That’s not very many voters compared to previous years, she said, and there were similar numbers in Richmondville.
With low voting numbers across the region, Downing worries people are losing interest in village government. The small turnout doesn’t worry Mayer, though. “There was nothing to be excited about,” she said.
The issue, she said, was not voter investment but a lack of action. None of the village posts in Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties was contested. There was no horse race. If there was competition, she said, people would have flooded the polls.
Last year, Mayer noted, Middleburgh held a referendum deciding whether to dissolve the village.
“More than 300 people came out then,” she said. “That proposal went down with a bang.”
To the east, in Saratoga County, there were a few contested village elections Tuesday and turnout was a little higher.
In Schuylverville, former village trustee Whitney Colvin was elected to the board in a three-way race to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Andrew Jennings. Colvin, an independent, received 81 votes to 40 for Democrat Russell Hanson and 31 for Republican Mary Sherman. He will serve the three years remaining in Jennings’ term.
In the village of Corinth, incumbent trustees Melanie Denno and Julius Enekes were re-elected to four-year terms, fending off a challenge from James Hopkins. Denno had 140 votes, Enekes 112 and Hopkins 79, according to the village clerk’s office.
In Ballston Spa, Michael Morrissey was elected without opposition to the village justice seat that opened in January with the resignation of Thomas Schroeder. Morrissey had earlier been appointed by the Village Board on an interim basis.
The results of other uncontested elections:
• Joseph Gilston, Republican, elected justice with 25 votes.
• Louis Jones, Republican, elected trustee with 25 votes.
• Lawrence Cornell, Republican, elected trustee with 23 votes.
• Mario Cristaldi, Republican, elected trustee with 25 votes.
• Sheryl Adams, undeclared, elected trustee with 43 votes.
• Lillian Bruno, undeclared, elected trustee with 40 votes.
• John Spaeth, Democrat, elected mayor with 26 votes
• Debra Ellsworth, Republican, elected trustee with 26 votes.
• Matt Ginter, Republican, elected trustee with 25 votes.
• Milan Jackson, undeclared, elected trustee with 29 votes
• Stephen Shore, undeclared, elected trustee with 26 votes.