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Geography of new district lines on the minds of Assembly voters

By JOLEEN FERRIS

DECISION 2012 (WKTV) - Thursday is Primary Day across New York State and while voters hit the polls throughout the day, they certainly were not hitting the hard, locally.

As is usually the case in primary elections, voter turnout was low Thursday in parts of Oneida and Herkimer Counties.

Geography played a big role in the newly-drawn, far-reaching 101st Assembly District, with Incumbent Claudia Tenney living in the northern most part of the district, which now spans seven counties, including parts of Herkimer, Otsego and Oneida Counties.

Tenney picks up an opponent in Orange County, which happens to be the southern most part of the district. That opponent is Brian Maher, 27 year old mayor of the Village of Walden.

In many polling places, poll workers outnumbered voters on Thursday by as much as 20 to one. By 2 p.m., two hours after the polls opened, 75 people had voted at First United Methodist Church in New Hartford, but that's a total from four districts, one of which had only seen 11 voters in those two hours.

Voters in this race had more than the candidates on their minds Thursday, saying that they're also thinking about that far-reaching newly-drawn 101st district that places Central New Yorkers in the Town of Paris in Oneida County, in the same district as downstaters from Walden in Orange County.

"How are you going to represent a few people here and a few downstate?" Voter Robert Vanderlan said. "I think it's a problem even for the people to know what district they're in."

"Just the communication with them, you know, how much you're going to know people on this end of the state to this end of the state," said Voter Henry McCann. "That's a long haul."

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