Accessibility to candidate platforms pushing younger population to vote in mid-terms

Posted at 6:53 PM, Oct 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-12 20:16:23-04

"There's definitely an increase in people’s excitement for this election, and their drive to get to the polls," said Erie County democratic commissioner Jeremy Zellner.

He says compared to years past, this mid-term registration period looked a lot different.

Across the hall, his republican counterpart, Ralph Mohr, says that difference isn't just about the higher number of people registering to vote.

"In the past few years, we’ve seen more people register as independent, or blank, or choosing not to enroll in any party affiliation," he said.

""Following the trend from the primary, the turnout is definitely going to be higher and elevated," said Zellner.

We called multiple boards of election in neighboring counties, and it seems the trends are all over the place in Western New York.

Chautauqua county's commissioner Norman Green says there are "definitely not" an uptick in independent registrations for the county this year.

But, elections officials in Cattaraugus ​​​​county tells us a good number of people are coming into change their registered parties

There's a similar situation in Niagara County. A clerk in their offices tell us that just before the close of business at today's deadline a stack of nearly 300 registrations landed on their desk with people changing their party from a main party affiliation to a minor party one.

One thing that was a common factor for nearly all the districts we spoke with in Western New York is that they're all seeing newer voters.

"I think the politics where people walk in and just vote one straight line across is over," said Mohr.

"I think it’s an expression of the voters saying they want to vote for the person as opposed to the party"

Younger voters say they're becoming more educated on the local races and what they call the importance of voting in non-presidential elections.

They cite social media, the internet, and local papers for helping get them information they'll need to cast an educated ballot.

"hey’re taking the time to exercise that right to understand who the candidates are, know their positions, and then vote for that position as opposed to that party," said Mohr.



Have a news tip, question or comment?


Take WKBW Everywhere, on all your devices.  Download below!

Phone or Tablet: Apple, Android
Set-top Device: Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Alexa

Personalize your news, get the latest 7 First Alert Forecast, and watch 7 Eyewitness News video wherever, whenever.

Learn more here about what 7 Eyewitness News provides on all these devices.