Clarksville, TN – As voting districts came to a close yesterday, one thing was evident; Montgomery County voter turnout exceptionally low, with just 7.06% of registered voters turning out to do their civic duty. 3,947 people early voted, or cast an absentee ballot; with just 2,897 people voting on election day.
Clarksville Online polled voter turnout at six random districts yesterday afternoon. District 6B at Bethel Baptist Church had 34 voters as of 2:00pm. District 4A at Montgomery Central Middle School had 107 voters by 2:00pm. District 5A at Smith School had 45 voters at 2:40pm. District 6A at Cumberland Heights School had 109 voters by 2:45pm. District 4B at the Old Jostens Building had 49 voters as of 3:05pm.
Vickie Koelman, the Administrator of Elections for the Montgomery County Election Commission took time to speak with me on election night, and the low turnout was of course our primary topic of discussion. “Early voting was very very slow, and today was very, very very slow. People need to develop an interest in the election process, you may not have a lot on the ballot as far as contested races but these are elected positions, and people need to take enough interest in their government to come out and cast their ballot and vote in every election,” Koelman said. “I am a strong believer in people voting in every election not just once every four years when most people show up to vote in the presidential elections.”
She praised the hard work of her dedicated poll workers, “We’ve done all that we can do. We prepare for the election, we train the poll workers who are out there waiting at the the polling places and I promise you they would love to have more people come out and cast the ballots so that they get the feeling that they’ve really helped people.” This election served as a dry run for November , “We put the same number of machines and all the precincts that we will have in November so that we the poll workers could get a feel for how things will be during the presidential elections.”
Koelman felt that everything went pretty smooth on election day, but worries that may not be the case in November. “Everything went well, We’ve had a few lost voters show up at the wrong precincts, and things like that, but no real major problems. With the recent redistricting many voters will likely head to the wrong polling place to cast their ballot in November.”
She strongly recommends that all voters take steps to verify their polling location before election day in November.
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