Voter turnout lives up to low expectations

By Olivia Willoughby

As election judges expected, voter turnout was low for Tuesday’s primary elections.

The 5th Precinct did not receive many voters, though election judge D.L. Morris said it was expected.

“We were predicting this,” he said. “Most of the action right now, for DeKalb, is in the Republican Party. But a lot of constituents in this precinct will vote Democratic.”

In the 24th Precinct, the election judges had also predicted a low turnout. Election judge Anna Marie Coveny said the Democratic Party remains uncontested in the primary election. As a result, people that would vote for that party do not show up at the polls.

The other main cause for a low turnout is the lack of interested students. Election judge Bob Self said students usually do not vote in this election.

“We saw 1500 voters during the presidential election,” he said. “They didn’t care about local races. This isn’t something that gets the students excited.

The 15th Precinct received a similarly low turnout, said election judge Barbara North. Like Morris, she was not expecting a large turnout.

Along with lack of student participation, voters also say their views of the campaigns effect turnout.

“A lot of people are sick of the robocalls and the mudslinging of this campaign,” said DeKalb voter Lois Self. “Some are just not motivated to participate in the voting.”

Voters and election judges also said they thought the weather would have positively affected turnout, however, several times it did not.

Glenda Smith, 26th Precinct election judge, said it was heartbreaking to see such few voters showing up at the polls.

“When President Obama came, a lot of people showed, and a lot were young people,” Smith said. “Since then, they haven’t come back and they aren’t participating. It’s really important to see who’s governing you.”

According to the DeKalb County Clerk’s website, the voter turnout for DeKalb county was 23 percent.

Some election judges of the 15th Precinct said they are more confident about November’s general election.

“The November election should be big, or at least we hope so,” said election judge Verdelle Aghakhani.

Despite this, she said these local general and primary elections are still just as important.