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Precinct Officials Report Disappointing Trickles On Election Day

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Today is Primary Election Day.  By early afternoon, precinct officials in two separate counties reported disappointing trickles of people.

At Belville Elementary in Brunswick County, Chief Judge Clare Heinz says the projection for the day started at about 850. 

"It’s been very slow.  It’s had a real slow start.  Our first voter came in about 7, and they’ve been trickling in.  We’ve probably had about 200 voters so far today."

At the Senior Center in New Hanover County, Chief Judge Marie Ashworth says turnout is predictably very light.  Despite that, she says, officials don’t think this is a harbinger for turnout in the November election.

“We think it’s probably going to be maybe heavier than most mid-terms.  Of course, we could be fooled.  The general public is very capricious.”

So far, Heinz says she’s seeing mostly the voting faithful – those who come out because they see it as a civic duty.

"I think a lot of people that came out hadn’t even really looked at the ballots.  They were surprised how little there was to vote for.  Sometimes it’s one or two selections to make and that’s it.  People who always vote came here to vote even if they haven’t researched it at all."

Marie Ashworth of Precinct W31 says voter apathy comes in many different forms. 

“They’re not interested in the candidates.  They don’t like the candidates.  They’re mad with what’s going on so they’re just not going to vote… every person has their own reason why they don’t vote.”

But, says, Ashworth:

“Please get out and vote!”

Polls are open until 7:30 PM.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.