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Taking Stock of Fire Elections

Area residents will choose fire commissioners Tuesday. Is there a way to improve turnout?

On Tuesday, there will be elections for area local fire commissioners. 

The races in both Wantagh and Seaford are uncontested, with only incumbents on the ballot.

Polls in Seaford will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Voting will take place in Wantagh between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Turnout is traditionally light in these elections and we want to know what you think about that. Do you have any ideas about generating more interest? Do you vote in these elections? If so, how often? What issues are important to you? Let us know in the comment section below.
EJ48 December 10, 2013 at 09:17 AM
Does it really matter to the public at large who wins? My guess is that the only folks who vote are those who have some involvement, direct or indirect, with the departments. And of course, it costs real money to hold these "elections", money that could be put to better use I'm sure
Chris December 10, 2013 at 09:27 AM
I do not know much about the position of fire commissioner. Does every town have one? If so, how many are there? I thought Nassau County would have one commissioner in charge. What is the pay and benefits of this position?
EJ48 December 10, 2013 at 10:21 AM
@ Chris - make a FOIL inquiry. You are entitled to know that information. I intend to inquire about the cost and voter turnout
Chris December 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Good idea.
Christopher Wendt December 10, 2013 at 12:18 PM
I have only voted a few times over the years, when the Wantagh position was occasionally closely (hotly?) contested. I have no problem with low voter turnout on any election. Not showing up at the polls is, in and of itself, a vote, and not one you could register at the polls: "We don't care". Nothing says voters must care, just because someone decides to hold an election. ............................................................................................. The big disconnect, however, is that people who do not bother to vote, people who do not care enough to get out and cast their vote, still like to complain about the results of those votes in which they had chosen not to participate.
EJ48 December 10, 2013 at 03:44 PM
So I went and voted. The ballot consisted of one person running unopposed for a five-year term as a commissioner. I was informed by one of the poll workers that I could have voted at any location within the district. There were two poll workers where I voted and one voting machine. My understanding is that there are seven “locations” within the district. While I do not know whether the poll workers at the location at which I voted or at any other location are being paid anything, I am guessing that there is a cost associated with having the voting machines on-site and the vote somehow certified. Given what I am sure will be a minuscule turn out for an election whose result is a foregone conclusion it would seem that at a minimum voting should have been limited to one location. In any event, the candidate will not win unanimously as I learned how to do a write-in vote, so I guess the exercise was not a total loss.

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