County Clerk Predicts Low Voter Turnout - The Missourian: County

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County Clerk Predicts Low Voter Turnout

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Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013 10:00 am

Turnout for the April 2 election is expected to be low, Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door predicts.

She is expecting turnout to be only about 14-15 percent.

“I think it’s awful,” Door said. “People don’t realize how much this April election affects their everyday lives.”

For instance, Door said, school boards, ambulance districts, road districts, city councils and other entities’ candidates who will be elected on Tuesday will run the local governments.

“The April election is just as important as any other election,” Door said.

In Franklin County there are 69,816 registered voters, but 7,701 are considered “inactive” by the county clerk’s office because their addresses need to be updated.

In the April election last year there were 63,999 registered voters, and turnout was 14.7 percent.

Some of the voters, about 6,471, cannot vote in this election because they do not have any issues on the ballot for their areas.

Door expects turnout in Union and Washington to be the largest since the school districts in those cities have multimillion dollar bond issues on the ballot.

The Union R-XI School District has an $8 million bond issue to make improvements to three elementary schools, middle and high schools and the central office.

The Washington School District has a two-question bond issue going before voters. One is for $9 million to modernize and upgrade the district’s buildings with a wireless technology infrastructure, and build an early childhood education center for comprehensive early learning services.

The other question seeks approval of $40 million in bonds to build a new 6-8 grade middle school on property it owns off Highway 100 and make other building improvements.

But even with the major issues on the ballot, Door said the 14-15 percent expected turnout is typical of an April election.

“There’s just such apathy in the April election,” Door said, noting that the presidential election last November had 70 percent voter turnout.

Election results are expected to be tabulated by 9 p.m., she said.

This election is expected to cost $136,978, and the expense will be split between the different entities that have issues on the ballot based on the number of votes associated with their respective ballot issues.

There will be about 200 election judges to check voters in at the polls.

Absentee voting started five weeks ago for people who would not be in the area on election day. Since then, about 445 absentee votes have been cast, according to the county clerk’s office.

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