Voters report issues in Democratic Party Primary for 56th State Senate District

Berkeley Brean
Updated: June 23, 2020 11:48 PM
Created: June 23, 2020 10:46 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — There was some controversy Tuesday night in the Democratic Party Primary for the 56th State Senate District.

That is the State Senate seat currently held by Joe Robach. 


The allegation is some voters in the city got the wrong ballot and were not able to vote. 

The candidates say voters from the 56th District went to a new polling place Tuesday. 

Some of them—we don't know how many—were given a ballot for the 55th District, where there was not primary, meaning they couldn't vote, as there is no category on that ballot to vote for a Senate candidate, or even write in the name of a candidate. 

News10NBC went to the polling place at the David Gantt Community Center on the north side of the city after the polls closed, but there were still people inside. 

When they saw our camera, they started to pull down the blinds. 

The candidates in the election shared their thoughts on the issues with News10NBC.

"It's very concerning to me and very disturbing that the community has not really been able to vote," Hilda Enid Rosario Escher said.

"We understand it's a strange time with COVID-19 and people are trying to adjust but we have to make sure that every voice is counted," Jeremy Cooney said.

"It's disheartening because people again, every vote has to be counted," Sherita S. Traywick said.

Jeremey Cooney had about 44% of the vote as of Tuesday night.

Ms. Traywick, a member of the Greece Central School Board, says her phone log shows she called the Monroe County Board of Elections at 6:32pm.

As of 11:30 p.m., the Board of Elections results website showed 9,131 people voted in the 56th State Senate Democratic Party primary.

Mr. Cooney, who received 4,076 or 44.6% of the primary vote, told News10NBC that he believes there are approximately 8,000 absentee ballots. Those ballots likely will not be counted on or about July 1. 

The board commissioners said COVID-19 "forced consolidated polling locations."

A statement from it says, "Every concern that was brought directly to the Board of Elections was taken seriously, investigated and dealt with accordingly." The statement also said, "isolated incidents of human error were found and corrected." 

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