Low voter turnout for aldermanic election

By Meaghen Harms

Monica O’Leary won the Ward 7 aldermanic position with 26 votes in an unusually low turnout.

Monica O’Leary defeated SA President Erik Calmeyer by four votes during the local election on April 5.

“Everything for this election is unofficial until all absentee votes are counted,” said John Acardo, DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder.

Election totals have never been that low in any ward within recent times, Acardo said.

Acardo said 11.5 percent of eligible voters voted in the recent election for DeKalb County. The turnout is significantly lower than in previous elections. The 2009 election had a 22 percent turnout, the 2007 election had a 24 percent turnout and the 2005 election had a 28 percent turnout.

“I believe it means people are somewhat satisfied or not concerned about the issues,” said DeKalb Mayor Kris Povlsen. “People come out and vote when they are mad about something.”

Povlsen said he thinks that redistricting will be an option to help voter turnout that will be discussed by the city council. Povlsen said he thinks this will equalize the districts.

“We have many choices, one of which is to have four to five wards and two to three at large alderman,” Povlsen said. Povlsen said he is also disappointed that there is not a student in the city council, but also said that he does think the current council will do a good job.

“I would like to see someone who attends class to be involved,” Povlsen said.

Ward 1, Ward 6, and Ward 7 are wards that have a large student population, many of which do not vote.

“I’m going to be graduating so I don’t feel like it applies to me,” said Scott Mercado, senior business administration major. “I also didn’t hear about the election.”

The current unofficial results can be viewed on the DeKalb County website.