Low voter turnout expected for August primary - WNEM TV 5

Low voter turnout expected for August primary

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Despite what issues are on the ballot, officials expected a low turnout for Tuesday's vote.

Some blame the vote being held in August for low polling numbers.

It may be the primaries, but it's also prime time for families to travel.

"Since I'm here and I make the extra special effort, I think everyone should," said Beverly Henry, voter.

Henry was motivated to vote for a candidate hoping to represent her on the city council.

"I can't dictate what other people should do. I can just wish them well and hope that they do," Henry said.

Slow but steady is the way polling site directors described Tuesday's voter turnout across Genesee County despite serious measures on the ballot in Flint, including changes to the role of the city's council.

By noon, 100 people cast their vote at Grace Emmanuel Church. It is one of the larger polling sites in Flint.

"They would actually clamor for a day like this in the past. It's not unusual in August to have 95 or even close to 100 degree weather. So if you're trying to pick a month in Michigan you're not going to pick a good one," Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said.

Gleason said primaries, held during the traditionally slow month when school is still out, should not be a deterrent or an excuse.

"That makes schools available if they choose to use those sites for polling places," Gleason said.

Turnout across the city was expected to be at historic lows. In the past, about 15 percent of the population would turn out during primary day. That was expected to be even lower on Tuesday.

Gleason said it's embarrassing.

"We have young men and women overseas in foreign lands today trying to give people the right to vote and yet 90 percent of the people will not vote in Flint, Michigan today," Gleason said.

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