(WBEN) One week from tomorrow voters in Buffalo will enter the polling place in a very different kind of school board election, advertising is high-- and the number of incumbents kicked off the ballot is too. But turnout is expected to be as low as usual.
"Presidential elections could be as high as 70 percent and some local elections as low as 30 percent," says Erie County Election Commissioner Dennis Ward, "but even those are huge compared to what we normally have (for school boards) ."
The election on Tuesday is expected to bring anywhere from 5 to 9 percent of those registered to vote, Ward says
Attention paid the race, and the amount of advertising is higher than usual however, due mostly to developer Carl Paladino's anti incumbent push.
A controversial former gubernatorial candidate, Paladino did not get the promised slate of candidates to run with him. but was able to help some of the challenges that knocked at least one incumbents off the ballot.
Paladino has been running an unprecedented amount of advertising in a school board race, including announcements airing on WBEN. Traditionally, such a small district election, doesn't spend on a signal
Longtime board member Ralph Hernandez is in court on Tuesday to try and return to the ballot. If he doesn't he has promised a write-in campaign. Paladino supports his opponent James Sampson, a former chair of the Erie County Fiscal Control Board.
Paladino's take-no-prisoners style has triggered a spate of mailings, being sent out even in the districts he is not running in- with anonymous fliers trying to tie various candidates to his efforts. The mailings include references to pornographic e-mails that Paladino forwarded to friends . The emails were made public during his 2010 campaign against Gov. Cuomo.