Schenectady County

Campaigning is done: Now, it’s time to vote

The monthslong race between Roger Hull and Gary McCarthy for Schenectady mayor will be over tonight

The monthslong race between Roger Hull and Gary McCarthy for Schenectady mayor will be over tonight — and perhaps the result will be known, if the balloting isn’t too close to call.

The same goes for the mayor’s races in Amsterdam and Saratoga Springs, dozens of town supervisor races from Rotterdam to Malta, and the contests for a variety of other elected offices.

Today is Election Day. It’s when the more than 600,000 registered voters in the greater Capital Region will be selecting mayors, town supervisors, councilmen, town clerks, highway superintendents and others.

The hundreds of polling places across the region open at 6 a.m., meaning the first votes will have been cast before most readers even see this story.

Election workers will have been arriving at those sites since 5 a.m., setting up and testing voting machines, checking that they’ve been sent the correct ballots, and preparing the portable privacy cubicles where voters fill out their ballots.

The polls will remain open until 9 p.m., when the last paper ballot will be fed into an optical scanner, and the results will begin to be tabulated, as candidates and their representatives anxiously watch.

By 10:30 tonight, most of the decisions will be in.

If political party enrollment is any indication — which it often isn’t, especially in local elections — Democrats will do well in Albany and Schenectady counties, while Republicans will do well in Fulton, Saratoga and Schoharie counties. There’s a clear party enrollment advantage in each of those counties.

Both Montgomery and Rensselaer counties, on the other hand, have voter enrollments almost evenly split between the two parties, according to the latest enrollment figures from the state Board of Elections.

But voters who are not enrolled in any political party are a force in every county — and in Rensselaer County, their number is larger than the enrollment in either of the political parties.

Once the election is over, expect the thousands of lawn signs that have sprung up like dandelions to eventually die, at least until next fall. It’s only another year until the 2012 presidential election.

Categories: Schenectady County

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