Low Voter Turnout on Democratic Primary Day

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

AUGUSTA COUNTY -- Polling sites opened in the county on Tuesday after the Department of Justice's request was denied to inspect those sites. According to reports, the Department of Justice began the inspection after it received a complaint regarding handicap accessibility.

"We'd have no problem with anybody coming and looking from the outside, but it's just not going to happen to admit people to the inside of a polling place, except the voters," Ruth Talmage, a chair of the Augusta County Electoral Board.

Talmage denies those allegations.

"We've diligently worked to make the precincts accessible," said Talmage.

Still, polling sites had a low turn-out. One election officer said that within six hours, she only saw about 11 voters. Considering the recent debate over the Department of Justice's investigation, it's a disappointing sight for some.

People like H. Ken Elkins were disappointed in the turnout.

"Think about all over the country and the world, people that don't have the ability or the right to vote. Here we are where this is such an opportunity," said Elkins.

WHSV tried to contact the county attorney, who is serving as the liaison between the Augusta County Board of Elections, and he was out of the office for Tuesday.

Talmage said she doesn't know yet what will come of the board of elections' refusal to allow the Department of Justice to inspect Augusta County's polling sites.

Polls will continue to stay open until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night.

Election officers in Augusta County are not allowed to leave the polling sites until it the sites are closed and results are tallied.

Stay clicked to WHSV for the results as they come in.
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