Tuesday’s election saw low voter turnout

By Laura Grandt and Rachel Helfrich

The election left polls a little empty Tuesday afternoon, but some who did cast their ballots shared their reasons why.

DeKalb County Clerk Sharon Holmes said mayoral elections traditionally bring a higher turnout, but without the prominent positions up for grabs, Holmes was hopeful for 30 percent of the registered voters to cast their ballots county wide. She said she had noticed turnout was low Tuesday afternoon, but she expected another rush around dinnertime.

Early morning hours, before the normal workday starts, also are popular times for voter turnout, according to the election judges at Glad Tidings Church, 2325 N. First St., that serves DeKalb precincts 3, 13 and 20. Later on in the day, however, the polls were empty for extended periods of time.

Other areas also felt the day drag on as the voters only came in spurts.

“This is one of the slower elections that I worked,” Peggy Hernandez, a 20-year veteran election judge for the 12th precinct, said.

A sense of duty is what brought many voters out on the sunny Tuesday afternoon, while others had specific issues they wanted to have their say in.

“I regularly vote, but it was particularly important this time for the school referendum,” local resident Toni Howard said. Howard, a mother of two young children, was concerned with the referendum since she has one child enrolled now and the other will soon follow.

Across town, other DeKalb residents echoed Howard’s comments.

“I have a daughter that’s in seventh grade,” Susan Sturm said. “She’s a student in this district so I wanted to make sure she has good teachers and a good school. That’s important to me.”

Sturm thinks that it is important to vote in order to have a say in what goes on, especially when children are involved.

Nicholaus Jacobs, a junior marketing major, thinks everyone should vote in order to stay involved with the community.

“People who don’t vote, all kinds of things go on around them in the environment, and they’re out of the loop,” Jacobs said. “Things that affect them, and they don’t get a say so because they didn’t vote.”

Jordan Rogers, a DeKalb High School senior, came out to vote in his first election Tuesday. Rogers said his parents always stressed that voting was important. And this time, Rogers said, he actually got to vote and get out his opinion.

While many seemed to agree with Rogers, others had a little different take on the same idea.

Eleanor Vissering, a resident of the 35th precinct, put it best.

“I can’t complain if I don’t vote,” Vissering said.