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Speak Out: Voter Turnout

Participation in Tuesday's election was particularly low—even for a primary.

Did you vote on Tuesday?

If not, why not?

It was slow going at polls in the early hours at many polling locations, and it never really picked up.

Patch reported low turnout at precincts around Howard County; when all the votes were tallied, less than 20 percent of registered voters cast a ballot in the primary election.

"I voted early last week because of a trip, and I think this turnout is disgusting. Everybody has an opinion but none have the time to decide who runs in the general election in Nov.," . 

Primary election turnout is traditionally much lower than that of general elections. But elections officials and campaigns alike had different thoughts about the low turnout in Howard County in Tuesday’s primary—18.93 percent of all registered voters vs. 43.9 percent in the 2008 primary.

Election fatigue due to intense media coverage of a protracted presidential primary season and redistricting, leading to a lack of familiarity with candidates for some voters could have played a part.

And then there's timing.

Maryland’s 2008 presidential primary was held in February. Previous primaries were held in March.

The early April date, and the fact that it coincided with spring break for county schools, led to lower turnout, some opined.

In Laurel, Chief Election Judge Gabrielle Araiza said simply: “.”

So what about you? Did you vote? Why or why not? Were you out of town or just “checked out” while the kids were on spring break? Have you had enough of debates and political talking heads on the television?

Why do you think voter turnout was so low?

Speak out. Leave a comment below.

Brandie Jefferson April 05, 2012 at 01:22 PM
It seems like people have this conversation after nearly every election ... sometimes I think we at the point where low voter turnout is just the norm. Which wouldn't be depressing if it seemed as if people were content with the way things are, but that never seems to be the case.
George Spencer April 06, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Your point well taken ~ Judicial & Education Systems and no need to change present officials in HC is the plan of the day. There are noissues in the eyes of general citizens ~ or ~ parents and other citizens would be out with their picket signs and on news broadcasts. First to get attention ~ we need to get a low Education ratings and unbarable tax increases for folks to get interested. I think we have a sleeping tiger ~ but as they say ~ an accident needs to happen to get the red light installed etc

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