Bay Ridge Still Stinks at Voting

Pamela Harris and Lucretia Regina–Potter
Harris, left, and Regina–Potter, right. Via New York Observer

Democrat Pamela Harris defeated Republican Lucretia Regina–Potter in the special election for state assembly yesterday—not that most of you deserve any credit! Roughly 11 percent of the 46th Assembly District (which encompasses the southern half of Bay Ridge, most of Dyker Heights, slivers of Bath Beach and about all of Coney Island) voted this year, which is bad inherently and relativelyunofficial results show that Harris received more than 61 percent of the 7,118 votes cast (out of 64,000 active registered voters, about half of the total population of an average New York state assembly district). Potter received more than 36 percent of the vote, a resounding defeat of the perennial candidate.

The election was held to replace Alec Brook–Krasny, who resigned to take a higher-paying job in the private sector.

In other quasilocal election news, Staten Island voters elected Democrat Michael McMahon their district attorney in a special election to replace our now-congressmember, Dan Donovan, who vacated the position when he won election to the United States Congress in May, defeating Bay Ridge concilmember Vincent “Vinnie” Gentile. Donovan is still best known for failing to secure an indictment against the police officers who killed Eric Garner. McMahon previously held Donovan’s present job, making his election yesterday something of a demotion.

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4 comments on “Bay Ridge Still Stinks at Voting

  1. I think part of the problem is the way the district lines are drawn. Our little hamlet of Bay Ridge (not so little) makes up a fraction of both assembly and state senate districts that encompass it. Most of our district lies in Coney Island, Staten Island and Marine Park. I think most of our local residents feel that the issues that face those areas are not the same that we face. Add to that, many people I speak with feel that they have no voice, since we represent a fraction of the districts. Both factors contribute to voter apathy. I truly hope that the lines are redrawn and this nonsence of gerrtmandering ends.

    1. While I agree that gerrymandering is a serious issue, I don’t understand the whining that I’ve heard for years from people who live in Bay Ridge about having to share a district with other neighborhoods. I can’t think of a neighborhood that has its own Assembly, State Senate or Congressional district. Really what is vastly different about the needs of people in Coney Island than Bay Ridge? Most people in both communities want good schools, safety, clean streets and attractive parks.

      Coney Island has challenges that Bay Ridge doesn’t face – but when was the last time anyone ever said “if Coney Island didn’t take all the government resources, Bay Ridge would be a better place to live.”

      If people are motivated and given candidates to vote for they will come out. The numbers in our election districts are respectable during Presidential and, Mayoral cycles and even when there is a competitive Council race.

      We also have several political clubs in Bay Ridge if anyone wants to get involved more. That shows a high level of involvement.

      And Stew: If I meant liberal i would have typed it. The neighborhoods in downtown Brooklyn are commonly refered to as Brownstones.

  2. There was very little on the ballot to draw people out of their houses to vote. Pam is a nice woman, and I truly hope that she makes an excellent Assembly Member, but for right now she has no connection to Bay Ridge. Hopefully, during the next two years she will work to change that fact. In the two other Assembly districts in the neighborhood, voters were asked to choose judges, who again most people never heard of.

    While voter turnout is not great in Bay Ridge, the same can be said for the city as a whole. What is remarkable about Bay Ridge as opposed to other neighborhoods is that we actually have a two party (sometimes more) system. Unlike in the Brownstone communities, you can proudly display your support for candidates or ideas that may not be popular citywide.

    The next few election cycles should be very interesting in the neighborhood. There are many ways people can get more involved including the various political clubs that exist in the area.

    1. “The Brownstone communities?” There are tons of Brownstones in Bay Ridge. Just say “liberal.” We all know that’s what you are talking about.

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