St. Louis City polls bring about low turnout

Vote here sign

By Branden Swyers | Staff Reporter

Tuesday’s primary elections in St. Louis City came with many interesting people around the polls at Julius Davis Library located at 4413 Natural Bridge between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Many of them did not vote. An estimated 10 voters came during that time. Not 10 percent of voters eligible—10 people total.

Michelle Harvey, a Republican poll manager, said, “It hasn’t been a good turnout I guess because the media says it doesn’t matter, and it’s really discouraging.”

One of the few citizens walking in the polls remarked about the lack of turnout and said, “If you don’t vote, that’s a vote.”

“Why would they have it if it doesn’t count? It does count for the Democrats,” Harvey said.

Harvey has worked with the St. Louis City Election Commission for 23 years and was disappointed by the lack in turnout and voter knowledge of the election.

“A lot of people didn’t even know what election it was,” Harvey said. “And they thought it was the presidential election.”

According to Harvey, the poll workers came in to work at 5 a.m. and probably would not be through until 8:30 p.m. Dedication is a strong trait for poll workers in this year’s primary with all the negativity surrounding it.

“Some people might think it doesn’t matter because they don’t see campaign workers or signs,” Harvey said.

Some citizens walking by the library like Dennis Butler did not vote because they are not interested in a preliminary vote. Butler said that he will be at the polls in November to vote for President Barack Obama.

“It takes four years for anyone (Obama) to straighten out a calamity before they can get any chance to change anything,” Butler said.

As for Harvey, she also attributed the lack of turnout to re-districting and not getting the word out about the elections soon enough.  Re-districting meant that the polling place that was right up the road from someone’s house may not have been their polling place this year.

“It could have been better organized,” Harvey said. “Because of the re-districting it has discouraged people who want to vote.”

Harvey has been adamant in years past and in this year’s election about making sure people can vote even if for some odd reason they were not in the system. If that happens, Harvey has them fill out a certified verification application (CVA) to prove that they are registered.

“It’s their right to vote,” Harvey said. “We don’t turn people away.