The polling site at P.S. 34 may be in the Assembly district that had highest turnout for Governor Andrew Cuomo in last September’s primary, but the race for Queens district attorney on June 25 did not have the draw for voters in Queens Village.
With less than 200 total ballots submitted as of 12:30 p.m., which most poll sites surpass after the morning rush, some voters told QNS they did not know any of the candidates or any of the reforms they are running on.
One woman who identified herself as Orneata even expressed frustration that there seemed to be no outreach from candidates until the last minute, leaving her with the only option of voting for a well-known politician.
“We need somebody who we know about and has done work with the community. I’m very concerned about the fact that people are calling up and got on the ballots and I don’t know anything about them … You never see some of these people unless there’s an election,” Orneata said. “Where are they at the community board meetings which for some reason they don’t attend. If you want to be recognizable, I shouldn’t be getting text messages the day before elections and telling me, ‘You’re supposed to vote for this candidate.’ I don’t like not having information when I’m voting.”
Orneata was less interested in discussions regarding legalized marijuana and more about the amount of time people are spending in detention while awaiting trial. While she was aware of some of the candidates’ qualifications, she did not find the majority of campaign material received clear as to the managerial experience of the hopefuls.
“Let’s do what we can to actually free up these jails and make a decision of whether you’re going to prosecute or not, but don’t just leave them languishing around,” she added.
Another voter said the issues were not guiding how he cast his own ballot, but that he is an active participant in the system.
“I’m here for every election; it’s just part of doing my civic duty,” he said. “As far as district attorney goes, it’s about getting someone with some experience.”
The race for DA includes Borough President Melinda Katz, Tiffany Caban, Gregory Lasak, Mina Malik, Jose Nieves and Betty Lugo.
Councilman Rory Lancman is on today’s ballot though he bowed out of the race on Friday before endorsing Katz.
QNS has reporters at polling sites across Queens this morning as Democrats head to the polls in the all-important district attorney primary. Stay tuned to QNS today for the latest reaction from voters as well as full results later tonight!