Midday elections update: Voters turn out in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties

Nov. 7—WATERTOWN — Voting is underway across New York and the north country as residents pick their choices for county-level, Supreme Court, town, village and city positions.

As of 1 p.m., about 4,200 people had cast their ballots at polling sites across Jefferson County, although vote counts from some rural polling sites in Deferiet, Worth, Lorraine, Calcium and Antwerp won't be available until the sites close at 9 p.m. or when the last voter leaves, whichever is later.

Voters in Jefferson County are choosing their county legislators, county treasurer and local races like village mayor, town supervisor or town board member. County voters are also choosing whether or not to extend legislator terms to four years. Watertown city voters are selecting the city's mayor and two council seats. In the city, about 1,200 people had voted by 1 p.m.

Jefferson County Republican Election Commissioner Jude R. Seymour said turnout has been comparable to the 2019 race, when Watertown city voters last chose their mayor. In that general election, 4,627 people voted. Now, with about 704 early votes cast in the last two weeks leading to a vote total of about 1,900, the city has seen close to half of the turnout with the busiest voting hours left ahead of them.

Seymour said most people vote between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on election day. He said, despite some concerns from members of the community that the decision to "pause" two of the polling sites opened in the city, it doesn't appear to have made a big dent in voting turnout.

"The suggestion that somehow that was diminishing people's appetite to participate in this election, so far that hasn't been supported by evidence," he said.

In St. Lawrence County, a Board of Elections staffer said 5,458 people cast their ballots by 1 p.m., with 690 early votes cast. Voters in St. Lawrence County aren't choosing any county-level seats, but Ogdensburg city voters will see an unopposed candidate for mayor on their ballot and four seats on the city council open with four candidates running. There are also a number of positions in the towns and villages up for grabs, like the mayor's seat in Potdsam and two town council seats in Canton.

In Lewis County, 2,702 people had voted by 1:30 p.m., with another 506 having cast their ballots early over the last two weeks.

Voters there are choosing their District Attorney, county sheriff, county legislators, and other local positions. A number of positions will appear on the ballot with no names underneath them, with no declared candidates for races like Leyden town highway superintendent, Osceola town supervisor, or Martinsburg town tax collector.