Low Voter Turnout

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

June 13, 2006

It was judgment day for two Democrats vying to challenge Senator George Allen in November, James Webb or Harris Miller. Some said it's a tough decision.

"I didn't make up my mind until I got here," said Tim McKeon.

But not many people are even walking through the door. Voting officials said it was so slow most of the people were voting one at a time, leaving the other voting booths empty. Voters could not understand why.

"I don't know why, it's an important race, two guys that are pretty different," said McKeon.

"You don't have much to complain about if you don't vote," said Jonathan Schnyer.

But according to voting officials, the primaries are nothing like a November election. 5% voter turnout in the primaries is normal.

"As an election official and working in a precinct like this I can speak for them that they'd prefer the 78% turnout as apposed to the 5% turnout," said Sherri Iachetta, the general registrar for Charlottesville.

Some Election officials said the trend in recent years has been for most people to vote early in the morning. Fewer people vote after work because they're afraid they may not make it in time because of traffic.

But that did not seem like that was the case. At least voters didn't have to wait in long lines.

It was not all smooth sailing behind the scenes there were some problems. The power went out at several polling locations. Walker, Venable and Clark were without power for an hour in the morning. But luckily the voting machines run on batteries so voters still got to vote, they just had to vote in the dark.


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