A mere 19.7% of eligible New Yorkers voted in the state's primary on Tuesday — the second-worst voter turnout of the election cycle so far.
Michael McDonald, a specialist in American elections at the University of Florida and the source of the statistic, attributes the exceptionally low turnout in part to the fact that the state's primaries are restricted to voters registered with the Democratic and Republican parties.
Many nominating contests so far this year have been closed, but New York's primaries drew controversy in the run up to voting day as independent voters learned that the deadline for changing their party registrations passed on Oct. 9th — nearly 200 days before the primary. That deadline is harsher than any other in the nation, according to FiveThirtyEight.
There were plenty of other issues that caused misery for New York voters as well. Over 125,000 Democratic voters were purged from the rolls for no explicable reason, and there were reports of poorly run polling sites lacking the equipment and staff to appropriately manage voters, many of whom were confused by registration irregularities.
The New York fiasco underscores a common-sense point about voting — the harder you make it, the less people will do it.
h/t the Nation