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Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow See Low Voter Turnout

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Poll workers at several polling stations in the Tarrytowns are reporting that through mid-afternoon Tuesday few residents have cast ballots in the general election.

Workers at the Main Street Firehouse in Tarrytown reported that only 26 voters had cast ballots before 2:30 p.m. Poll workers at Sleepy Hollow Village Hall reported similarly low numbers. The Philipsburg Manor polling station had a few more voters: 147.

All stations said they were waiting for the five o'clock rush because in their experience more people tended to vote after work. Some poll workers also noted other reasons for this year's low turnout.

“It's off-year elections,” Henry Magiet said. Magiet is stationed at the Main Street Firehouse in Tarrytown. Magiet's fellow poll worker Steve Schwartz agreed. He cited several other issues that could be causing people to stay at home. “Half the public doesn't even know who these people are,” he said. “They weren't promoted enough. They don't know who they're voting for, so they don't come out.”

Schwartz also noted a swath of candidates running unopposed. Schwartz said the lack of candidates means that even if lots of voters don't vote, the candidates will still win.

Workers at the Philipsburg Manor polling station reported that residents were doing just fine with the new voting machines, although Dolores Washington noted many voters miss going in and closing a curtain. “They like that security,” she said.

Fellow Philipsburg Manor poll worker Karol Steadman agreed that a few voters said they missed the old machines, but others have found the new machines were a positive experience and “pretty easy to do.” “A number of people have been pleasantly surprised that it goes as quickly as it does,” she said.

Sleepy Hollow resident Lois Seulowitz has voted in every election since she was 21. She's now 82, and says she came out to vote Tuesday because it was a beautiful day and she wanted to make the best of her franchise. Voters throughout both villages cited a number of reasons why they came out to vote.

Sleepy Hollow resident Suzette Winter says she always votes because she wasn't always an American citizen. Tuesday's elections were especially important, she said, because there is chaos happening in the country and government.

“I vote every election there is,” Tarrytown resident Judy Levine said. She voted at Tarrytown Village Hall. One of the major issues in this election that concerned her was extremism sweeping parts of the population, she said.

Voting was a way to ensure that “my voice is counted as well,” she said.

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