Fewer New Yorkers cast ballots in the 2022 elections than they did in the prior midterm and statewide elections four years ago, preliminary numbers show.
The steepest declines in voting were in the New York City boroughs, which are crucial to Democratic chances of winning statewide in New York.
And counties in which Republicans saw their most success -- including Long Island's Suffolk and Nassau -- bucked the statewide trend, and saw more people come out to vote.
That participation in key New York City suburban areas potentially made the difference in a handful of races for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which were won by Republicans. Those results could ultimately help tip the balance of the chamber and give Republicans a narrow majority.
Overall, more than 5.7 million votes were cast in the 2022 elections, according to the unofficial numbers, a drop from more than 524,167 votes from four years ago.
Nevertheless, the broad results statewide were the same as they were in 2018: Democrats won all statewide elections this year as they did four years, including a closely waged race for governor. Democrats hold a large enrollment advantage over Republicans and even a decline in voter participation failed to help Republicans.
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin by the closest margin in a gubernatorial race since 1994, when Republican George Pataki upset Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo.
Still, voter turnout surged in areas Zeldin did well, and declined in counties Hochul won, according to an analysis provided by the New York Public Interest Research Group.
In Zeldin's home base of Suffolk County, for instance, preliminary numbers show more than 13,000 additional votes were cast this year compared to 2018. In Nassau County, turnout increased by 4,807 votes.
And Hochul failed to boost turnout in home county of Erie in western New York, where 8,104 fewer votes were cast. That was a trend seen across upstate counties with large urban centers that Hochul won: A decline in the number of people who voted compared to four years ago.
But among the largest declines in participation were in New York City. In Brooklyn, an important source of Democratic votes, there were 109,815 fewer votes cast than in 2018. Manahttan also saw a decline of 114,171 votes this year compared to 2018.
Staten Island, a Republican stronghold, saw a modest increase in turnout of just over 1,400 additional votes.
This is the second year in a row in which voter participation has dropped in New York City. In 2021, when New York City voters were picking a new mayor, turnout hit a record low.