In a city like New York, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than six to one, any Election Day devoted entirely to the GOP is going to be pretty subdued. But even more so for today’s Republican presidential primary, since, as the city’s few GOP voters surely understand (even if Newt Gingrich doesn’t), the nomination has already been been decided. In other words, today’s primary is a going-through-the-motions event produced for a tiny electorate with no rational reason to vote. It is a bad-turnout perfect storm. It’s Super Snoozeday.
Inside P.S. 46, on Clermont Avenue in Fort Greene, ten poll workers and two police officers sat at folding tables ringing the gymnasium floor. One of the poll workers was slumped over in his chair, sleeping. It was so silent, you could probably hear someone penciling in their vote, although no voters were present when I popped in around 2:10 p.m. this afternoon. I was told that a grand total of six people had cast ballots so far.
Outside, I asked Dwight, a young poll worker tasked with manning the scanning station but momentarily catching some fresh air, how he’d been killing time today. “Well, I just finished watching the kids play, basically,” he told me, gesturing over at the nearby basketball court. Maybe things will pick up later? “Maybe,” he said. “Maybe after work hours, after six. But if it does pick up, I don’t think it’ll be that much.”