Less than 10 percent of registered voters went to polls

Published 2:03 am Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Primary elections tend to be weaker draws than general elections. Voter turnouts are lighter; interest is usually less enthusiastic.

Primary 2010 was no exception and may have been one for the record books.

Lawrence County elections officials said that of the 46,819 registered voters in the county, roughly 10 percent actually cast a ballot. Why? Elections officials had some theories.

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“I think a lot of people didn’t know there was an election. And there weren’t that many contested races. There just wasn’t anything to draw people to the polls,” board of elections chairwoman Karen Matney Simmons said.

Although the recent flooding may have kept some people from the polls, Simmons said she didn’t think that was a major factor in the lighter-than-ever voter turnout.

Board of Elections Deputy Director Eric Bradshaw was more succinct: There were no county-wide levies to decide. Levies — issues that may affect a person’s pocketbook — usually draw people out to vote either for it or against it. There was only one local levy on the ballot this year and it affected only the village of Coal Grove. The rest of the county got a respite from requests for more tax dollars.

“There was nothing coming out of anyone’s pockets and voters aren’t mad at any one person. They’re mad at everybody,” Bradshaw said.