Low Voter Turnout Blamed On Heat, Roadwork 8-03-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Low Voter Turnout Blamed On Heat, Roadwork 8-03-2010

Low turnout is being reported across the state as Michigan voters cast ballots in the August primary election.
State officials predicted less than 25 percent of voters would be out, despite a heated race to determine which two gubernatorial candidates will face off in November.
But that number could be even lower for one local precinct, thanks to construction work.
Gwen Friesorger told WNEM TV5 she was a little confused when she showed up to vote Tuesday morning at Sherwood Elementary School in Saginaw Township.
Friesorger had to walk at least a football field away from the voting precinct because she wasn't sure where to park. Normally people enter the voting precinct from the front of the school, but now they have to come to the back of the school.
Voting officials believe disinterest in the races, construction in and around schools, and heat and humidity in Mid-Michigan are all a contributing factor to why voting is down at the precinct.
Another voter agreed the construction was confusing.
"Yes, I had to pause, I came in and the guy, the construction worker, was very kind and said ‘Vote over there,’ because usually it's over here," said Saginaw Township resident Dan Jarzabkowski. For Jarzabkowski, "over here" means entering off of Shattuck Road.
"There's a service road which they set up so they can come in instead of the normal way, off of Mackinac," said election official James Fehrman.
Fehrman is convinced the construction work has kept voter turnout lower than normal at the precinct.
Special Section: Michigan's Race For Governor
"In this type of election I think it is, so I think the construction has something to do with it," Ferhman said.
That's definitely the case for Friesorger, as she hiked off to her car, she said she's worried about some senior citizens who plan on voting Tuesday.
"I think it's going to be very hard for them to figure out how to get in here," Friesorger said.
TV5 placed a call to the Saginaw Township School District to find out when the construction work will be wrapped up. They hope to be done in time for the general election in November.
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