It’s primary day. In an off, off election year.
Which means that many of you enrolled in political parties with primaries today are not going to bother to vote.
That’s not a personal assessment — it’s the opinion of professionals, including Stanley Klein, a Long Island University political science professor, who studies such things.
In Nassau, for example, there’s a Democratic primary between county Legis. Laura Curran and Comptroller George Maragos for county executive.
Could corruption-related indictments of some county and town officials lure a few more voters to the polls — say, something more than the 9 percent Nassau usually sees?
“No,” Klein said in an interview yesterday.
What about the roiled national politics? Is that going to . . .
“No,” said Klein, leaping into the interrogatory before it could end.
So, go ahead, stay away from the polls and make Klein’s professional prediction come true. But here’s some of the exciting stuff — depending on your party registration and election district — you’ll be sorry you decided to miss.
In Nassau, most of the attention has been on the race between an upstart slate of Democrats, headed by Maragos, going up against a slate headed by Curran, of Baldwin, the county Democratic Party’s designee.
But there’s also a Democratic primary for the 16th Legislative District in Nassau that has Lew Yevoli, the former Oyster Bay Town supervisor, making a bid for county legislature. He’s up against incumbent Legis. Arnold W. Drucker, the county party’s choice.
And there’s a late-breaker: An appellate court late yesterday allowed James Coll onto today’s ballot in Nassau’s 15th Legislative District. Coll had been disqualified from challenging John R. Ferretti II in a GOP primary.
In Suffolk, the Republican primary for sheriff is getting top billing — with state Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) trying to fend off a challenge from first-time candidate Larry Zacarese, an assistant police chief at Stony Brook University.
But there are some fascinating primaries elsewhere as well.
In Huntington — for the first time in memory — there’s a Democratic primary for town supervisor, with council member Tracey Edwards facing Darryl St. George, a Northport High School history teacher and first-time office seeker.
In Smithtown, Supervisor Patrick Vecchio is trying to keep his streak as the longest-serving executive in New York State. He faces Edward Wehrheim, the GOP’s supervisor choice.
And while there are plentiful other major and minor party primaries in both counties — see Newsday.com for a complete list — the Suffolk Democratic primary in the 9th Legislative District has Angela Ramos, wife of state Assemb. Phil Ramos, going up against county Legis. Monica Martinez.
Klein, 90, has been watching local elections for decades now.
Yet, the region’s miserable voting history hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the democratic process, and voting.
“The basic theory of democracy is [that it allows] the outpouring of feelings of the average person,” said Klein, who also is a Suffolk Republican committeeman. “The more you can get people out to vote, the better it will be to judge what the average person is thinking about.”
And those feelings, in theory at least, can inform the process and policies — especially of local government.
That makes primaries, even in off, off years, opportunities.
So vote, already.