Post-Standard: Record Low Voter Turnout

"Miner's vote total this year is the smallest since Louis Will was elected mayor with 9,858 votes in 1913, according to The Post-Standard's archives."

(The 1913 election was before women could vote. Louis Will was a pro-suffrage Progressive, elected in a three-way race against anti-suffrage Democratic and Republican candidates as the only third party mayor elected in Syracuse history. Republicans recovered the mayor's office the next election in 1915. The 19th Amendment for women's right to vote was not ratified until 1920. -- Howie Hawkins)

Three out of four Syracuse voters stayed home

By Tim Knauss
November 06, 2013 at 3:50 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - No more than one-quarter of Syracuse voters cast ballots in Tuesday's mayoral election, the lowest turnout in at least half a century, reflecting what experts say was broad indifference to an uncompetitive race.

Preliminary results show 16,288 ballots cast by city voters, just 23 percent of the 71,014 Syracuse residents who are registered to vote.

That percentage likely will reach 24 percent by the time absentee ballots are counted next week. But it will fall far short of the 31 percent turnout in the previous mayor's race of 2009 - which was the lowest turnout in 50 years.

"It's sad,'' said Helen Kiggins Walsh, the Republican elections commissioner for Onondaga County.

With no Republican candidate challenging her, Mayor Stephanie Miner won 68 percent of the vote this year in a three-way race with candidates from the Green and Conservative parties, compared with 15 percent for her nearest competitor - the highest margin of victory in decades. But Miner garnered only 10,312 votes, according to preliminary results.

Four years ago, Miner received 11,253 votes in a more competitive race, which represented 50 percent of the total. Thanks to low turnout and Syracuse's population loss over the decades, Miner's vote total this year is the smallest since Louis Will was elected mayor with 9,858 votes in 1913, according to The Post-Standard's archives.

This year marked the first time in at least a century that Republicans failed to field a candidate for mayor. "It definitely was not competitive, that's for sure,'' Kiggins Walsh said.

Many of the city council races this year also were lopsided or uncontested, said Dustin Czarny, Democratic elections commissioner. As a result, many voters appeared to lack motivation to go to the polls, he said. "To drive people to the polls, you have to have a major race that is contested,'' Czarny said.

Here are the results of recent mayoral elections, as reported in The Post-Standard. For each year, the numbers reflect unofficial results from Election Night:

Stephanie Miner (D,I,W) 10,312
Ian Hunter (C ) 2,352
Kevin Bott (G) 2,305
Total: 15,212


Stephanie Miner (D,W) 11,253 
Steve Kimatian (R,I) 8,817 
Otis Jennings (C) 2,314 
Total: 22,384

Matthew J. Driscoll, (D) 15,766
Joanie Mahoney, (R, I, C) 14,608
Howie Hawkins, (G) 1,476
Total: 31,850

Matt Driscoll, (D) 19,950
Bernard J. Mahoney, (R,I,C) 9,159
Kate O'Connell, (L,W) 1,166
Daniel R. Izzo, (RTL) 192
Jennifer Daniels, (G, Lbt) 2,464
Total: 32,931

Roy Bernardi (R, C, I, F) 20,172
Theodore H. Limpert (D) 11,086
Howie Hawkins (Green, L) 799
Daniel R. Izzo (RTL) 230
Total: 32,287

Roy Bernardi (R-C) 25,751
Joseph Nicoletti (D) 15,561
Total: 41,312

Thomas Young (D) 21,968
Bernard J. Mahoney (R, C, I) 17,279
Stanley Harrell (L) 1,360
Total: 40,607

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