Election Turnout Lower Than Expected

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- People are letting their voice be heard Tuesday with local elections in Staunton, Waynesboro and Timberville.

In Staunton, it's a competitive run for the city council and school board. Eight candidates are vying for city council, but there are only three seats available. Only one of the eight, Carolyn Dull, is an incumbent.

Regardless of the races going on, poll workers said that turnout is much lower than expected.

Workers in Staunton were hoping for a 20 percent turnout, which would be on the high end for a local election; however, it was only 17 percent.

In Waynesboro, as of 4 p.m. only 249 voters went to the polls, which equals about 2 percent.

"If people don't turn up, then the issues aren't gonna revolve around them," said Nick Walge, an officer of election in Staunton. He said that one precinct hasn't had a lot of first time voters showing up.

With all the campaigning that occurred this season, he is surprised, "It just hasn't seemed like it's going to pass anything past what local elections have generated in the past."

For some; however, voting was a new experience. "80 years old for the first time coming out, so that was pretty neat to see," said Walge.

For Jenny Simmons, the future of her four kids, including her son who came with her to vote, is affected.

"The high school for Staunton is getting kind of older and I've been to some school board meetings talking about that and you know what the future holds for Lee High. So I'm interested to see how that goes and I want to have a voice in that," said Simmons.

Sebastian Wimmer just moved to Staunton and decided to cast a vote as a way to become a part of a community, "Not just a thickening of the traffic lights and the highway. It's a real community, it has sidewalks, it has lovely buildings, it has a history and it has a character. These are all things worth guarding," said Wimmer.

As election day continues, workers hope to see more people voting.

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