Voter turnout low for local elections

Published 9:48 am Friday, November 6, 2015

The number of people who voted in the local elections on Tuesday in Franklin, Southampton and Isle of Wight is significantly low compared to those who are registered to vote. The registrars could not point to a specific reason why voter turnout was so low; however, the large number of uncontested races could be a contributing factor.

As of Election Day the number of registered voters in Franklin is 5,611 and only 628 people voted; the number of registered voters in Southampton is 12,239 and only 2,670 people voted; and the number of registered voters in Isle of Wight is 26,203 and only 8,967 people voted.

“There could be several factors as to why the turnout was so low,” said Franklin Registrar Jennifer Maynard. “All offices were unopposed and this wasn’t an election for the mayor and city council.”

“The sad part is that we have to prepare as if every person who is registered is going to vote and the cost is the same regardless of the number of people who vote,” she added.

All three registrars said that they know next year with the city official election in May and the Presidential election in November, the number of voters who vote will be higher, but they are hoping that local elections will have more of a turnout in the coming years.