Voter turnout sags below 10 percent

Poll Workers Garnet Day, left, and Janice Webb watch out the windows for voters at Miller Performing Arts Center Tuesday afternoon. Voter turnout was less than 10 percent on Tuesday.

Poll Workers Garnet Day, left, and Janice Webb watch out the windows for voters at Miller Performing Arts Center Tuesday afternoon. Voter turnout was less than 10 percent on Tuesday. Photo by Kile Brewer.

Prior to Tuesday’s election, Cole County Clerk Marvin Register did not want to predict a voter turnout number.

He said he knew it would be a low number, but was not surprised by the 9.90 percent turnout.

Out of 52,208 registered voters, only 5,167 cast a ballot.

“I thought we’d be around 10 percent,” Register said. “It’s not the all-time lowest turnout. We’ve had other elections with around 10 percent before.

“There’s not ever enough voters.”

Those who did vote had varied reasons for casting their ballots.

At Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, a 4th Ward polling place, Scott Elwood said no particular issue or race brought him out Tuesday morning. Elwood said he voted for John Ruth, Tami Turner and Harold F. Coots for Jefferson City School Board, and voted for Glen Costales for the 4th Ward council seat. Elwood said he voted against changing the city’s charter to eliminate primaries, though he said he had no particular reason for doing so.

Mike Wilson said he always votes and no race or issue was bringing him out Tuesday.

He voted for Costales for the 4th Ward council seat because Costales came to his door and spoke with him while campaigning. Wilson said in the six years she’s been on the City Council, incumbent Carrie Tergin had never come to his door or called his home.

Wilson said he voted in favor of changing the city’s charter to eliminate primaries and voted for Steve Bruce, Ken Theroff and Coots for Jefferson City School Board. Wilson said because the other two candidates, Ruth and Turner, are incumbents, he did not support their bid for re-election.

“I like to see turnover,” Wilson said.

At St. Joseph Cathedral, which serves as a polling place for the 3rd Ward, Jeremy Jones said, “I feel it’s important (to vote) even though there’s not a lot on the ballot. I want to be consistent and vote every time. I think doing away with the primary will save the city money. I voted in favor of deletion of the primary.”

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