St. Peters Primary keeps with trend of low turnout

St. Peters Primary keeps with trend of low turnout

By Chris Smith & Ryan Hill  | Staff Reporters

A visit to DuBray Middle School, a voting location in St. Peters, on the day of Missouri’s Primary showed how much voters cared about the unusual primary.

Two Lindenlink reporters outnumbered the amount of voters. Only one voter was seen over a 75-minute time span, from 2:30-3:45 p.m. The man was in a hurry and declined comment.

At 3:10 p.m., students were released from school. Nearly all of the people who came to the school were picking up their children. For the rest of the time, the school grounds were empty except for a few straggling students. There were only five candidate signs seen at the school.

Republicans and Democrats have been at war over the primary for the past few months.  Taxpayers are worried that their tax money will not go to good use.

Arguments over whether the primary was pointless or irrelevant may have contributed to the lack of voter turnout.

The ballot for Missouri is also missing one key name.  Newt Gingrich did not put his name on the ballot.  Instead, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum headline the ballot that doesn’t count.  Santorum has put in a little extra effort, however, making several appearances in Missouri, including one at St. Charles Community College.

After talking with a poll worker at the middle school, it was clear how the turnout had been for Feb. 7.  “There have been parts of the day where it has been steady, but for the most part it has been pretty dead,” she said.

Even though the poll worker wanted to remain anonymous and would not give many opinions or thoughts on the subject, she did mention one thing. “There are other propositions on the ballot that people care about and are passionate for.  So I think it’s still important for those people to come out and vote,” she said. “Even if the vote doesn’t count, I think candidates that are still on the ballot would want their supporters to come out and vote.”

An employee at the middle school also had a few comments.  When asked about whether it was pointless to hold the primary or not, she said, “Even though the vote doesn’t count for Republicans, I think it’s still important that they come out and support their favorite candidates.  Any vote can never be pointless,” she said.

She also added, “The primary is happening, it’s too late to cancel it now, so why wouldn’t voters, especially Democrats, come out and show their support?”  The school employee also commented on the attendance throughout the day.  “There has been so much less turnout than I expected.  There have been parts of the day where no one has come in for a few hours.”