Voter turnout in the Town of East Hampton on Nov. 8 was about average for a nonpresidential year — about 43 percent of the 15,929 people registered. Given the standard by which such things are measured nationally, turnout as a percentage of the voting-age population, East Hampton did a bit worse than might have been expected — about 39 percent — but was still a point or two above the national average.
The local registration figure may have been boosted by those part-time residents who register here but were not counted in the 2010 census. Anecdotally, it seems that an ever-increasing number of people live here part time, year round, commuting into the city for work a couple of days a week but considering East Hampton home. This assumption is bolstered by the hundreds of absentee ballots in the most recent election.
Turnout is to be encouraged, whatever the outcome, which is one reason why in the immediate post-election period we noted with displeasure something the East Hampton Republican Committee chairwoman said. Trace Duryea, who worked in East Hampton Town Supervisor Bill Wilkinson’s re-election campaign, told a reporter that she was disappointed in the town for not coming out more forcefully for her candidate, while she dismissed those who voted against him as thoughtless partisans. Such comments do little to dignify the often arduous political process and belittle those who went to the polls.
Voters should be thanked for their participation, no matter how they voted.