As voters headed to the polls in Forest Hills early Tuesday morning, one fact became obvious very quickly: there weren't that many voters heading to the polls.
made a bee-line for the Continental Avenue subway station as the sun came up Tuesday, and with good reason —
Assemblyman Rory Lancman, D-Fresh Meadows, called the stop his "lucky subway station" and was greeting passersby with a repeated mantra: "I'm Rory Lancman, it's Primary Day."
At one point, Lancman, Assemblywoman Grace Meng, D-Flushing, and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, D-Middle Village, were all orbiting the station entrance with volunteers, handing out leaflets and pressing the flesh. It didn't take long for the group to split up and head their separate ways with a lot of ground to cover before polls closed.
Lancman said he was feeling good regardless of the seemingly low turnout.
"I don't know if low turnout or high turnout helps me. We have an understanding of who's going to turn out based on how people have voted in the last X-number of elections," Lancman said. "My pre-9 a.m. analysis is that things are going great."
Standing outside on Austin Street, Meng said she felt confident talking to voters in Forest Hills, and was prepared for a long day of campaigning before her election night party in Bayside. But she couldn't hide the fact that directing voters into polling places on a Tuesday in June was a bit like pulling teeth.
"Turnout seems a little slow, a lot of people don't seem that interested," Meng said. She mentioned talking to one couple who didn't vote because they were leaving for a vacation. "It's frustrating of course because all of us, as candidates, have been spending a lot of time and money and energy trying to remind people that there is an important election today, but we've all done the best we can so hopefully the people who are interested will come out and vote."
Voters at in Forest Hills were few and far between
Danielle McKinley, a Democrat, who said she had never voted in a primary before, cast her ballot for Crowley.
"I never vote in these things, but it's becoming more and more necessary," she said. "[Crowley] seems like she's really about the community and the working family."
Maxwell and Phyllis Taub, both Forest Hills residents of more than 50 years, went for Meng.
"She seemed like the best candidate," Maxwell said. "She was endorsed by [U.S. Rep. Gary] Ackerman and the Times. That's enough for me."
Resident Ping Hong Yang, another Democrat, agreed with the Taubs. He said he thought it was important for New York City to send an Asian-American legislator to Congress.
"She'd only be the first Asian-American legislator from New York City," Yang said. "We need to send her up there."
Of more than a dozen voters willing to answer questions outside the school, only one had cast a ballot in the Republican primary.
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