Primary Election Proves Low Voter Turn Out an Issue - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Primary Election Proves Low Voter Turn Out an Issue

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You literally could hear a dime drop at the Highlands Precinct number one in Roanoke Tuesday during the primary elections. An extreme low voter turn out kept Virginia poll booths quiet.

But that didn't stop one local faithful. Keith Wheaton says he has never missed an opportunity to cast his ballot. He says it was an important value he learned early on.

"My parents were civil rights activists," Wheaton said. "So they instilled in me the responsibility to vote, to vote every time. Whatever election it is, I don't care if its school, city council or whatever. I vote."

Despite his impressive attendance record, he is among the few who have voted in Tuesdays primary.

Gloria Dowe, Chief Election Officer at the Highlands number one precinct has been working with elections for many years. She says this was one of the lowest turnouts she has seen.

"I'm really surprised at the turn out," Dowe said.

For the entire day, she along with other election officers at the precinct estimate fifty voters will cast their ballot at best.

Gloria Tyler blames the low voter turn out on poor advertising.

"Most people that came out today didn't even know that we were having an election," Tyler said.

Though election signs line local roadways, Dowe says it isn't enough.

"I don't think its that people don't know so much I think that the publicity that is surrounding it hasn't revved up the people enough," Dowe said.

But for Wheaton, there is no need to remind him to cast his ballot.

"People died for their right to vote long before my time."

A sacrifice Wheaton makes worth while.


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