Elections 2016: Does North Augusta precinct low turnout mirror statewide turnout for election?

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WJBF) – WJBF News Channel 6 has been tracking results since the polls closed hours ago, but it’s the low number of votes cast Tuesday that people are talking about.

WJBF News Channel 6 has been tracking results since the polls closed hours ago, but it's the low number of votes cast Tuesday that people are talking about.
WJBF News Channel 6 has been tracking results since the polls closed hours ago, but it’s the low number of votes cast Tuesday that people are talking about.

It seems that even with a record number of registered voters in South Carolina most people skipped out on voting. Some of the few voters WJBF News Channel 6 caught up with shared their opinions of why they think turnout was so low in this election.

“Today’s going to be a low turnout. One of the lowest we’ve seen.” Official Poll Manager Barry Whitney told WJBF News Channel 6.

At Precinct 67 in North Augusta, South Carolina voters were few and far between. Nearly 1,200 voters are registered at the precinct but by 6 p.m. not even 50 people, including absentee ballots, had been counted.

“Some of the rovers have been by and they said that we are sort of running a little lower than some others but similar.” Whitney said.

While some residents of Aiken County make sure to never miss a chance to have their voices heard, “Oh I vote every time honey!” said Leah Barrow, a resident of North Augusta.

The overall numbers for Precinct 67, in this year’s state primary, say otherwise for most of their registered voters.

While the few who did practice their civil duties hoped others would follow their lead, they say minimal election coverage may have a played a role in the low outcome.

“Good bit of signs around town for Coroner, but I didn’t see anything about when voting was. No signs about that,”  Kenny Oates Junior, a resident of North Augusta, said.

“Maybe they weren’t informed well enough.” Barrow said.

“Lack of publicity and very few races,” North Augusta resident Kenneth Oates said.

The Precinct 67 Poll Manager says for county elections 10 percent voter turnout is about the norm. While voter turnout during national presidential elections ranges anywhere between 60 to 80 percent.

A father-son voting duo on Tuesday says that’s because most people only focus on national politics, “nowadays when people think of voting, they think of voting for president and people don’t really care about their local communities and what’s going on.” Kenny Oates Junior said.

The primary runoff election will be on June 28.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is October 8. The general election will be a month later on November 8.

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