MASSENA - While there are no contested races in either the town or village of Massena, Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said people should still exercise their right to vote.
The right to a free vote and to freely elect people to represent us is the greatest right we enjoy as Americans, I believe, Mr. Gray said. It should never be taken for granted and it should never be wasted by not being utilized.
While the largest voter turnout obviously comes in presidential election years or years where there are hotly contested local races, Mr. Gray said that in his opinion people should vote every chance they get.
I have yet to hear a good excuse for not voting, he said, adding, There arent any.
And just because there arent any local races doesnt mean the outcome of this years elections wont impact Massena.
Mr. Gray said the race for district attorney in St. Lawrence County, which pits Democratic incumbent Nicole M. Duve against Republican challenger Mary E. Rain will have an impact locally, as will the states proposition on whether or not to expand casino gambling in the region.
While Mr. Gray has publicly spoken out against the states proposition to expand casino gambling. In my opinion that would be bad for our region, Mr. Gray said, referring to the opening of more casinos across the state. Ill be voting against it.
Should several other casinos open in the state, Mr. Gray said he is worried that people currently going to the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino may elect to go elsewhere, which could negatively impact the towns revenue.
It could impact our revenue we receive from gaming compact funds, he said, noting that money is based on a formula tied to the money brought in by the casino.
Mr. Gray said hes expecting to see a large voter turnout in Massena and across the county due to the district attorneys race.
I would expect that there would be good turnout because of the DAs race, he said. There is a lot of interest in that race.
Mr. Gray also said that it would not be difficult to imagine that race generating more votes locally than the supervisor or town council candidates.
You wont see as many people vote in the local races as you will in the DAs race, he said. Some people wont vote in uncontested races.
Although it is too late to vote in this years races if youre not already registered, Mr. Gray said people who arent registered to vote yet should register now while its fresh in their mind.
People should always vote if they can, and if theyre not registered they should register as soon as possible, he said. They wont be able to vote this year, but at least theyll be able to vote in the future.