Polling places see good turnout

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 8, 2006

Voter turnout was off to an impressive start at Harrison's in rural Butler County. By 9:30 a.m., the polling place had seen 45 voters come in to mark their ballots. Approximately 300 voters are registered with the polling place.

&#8220This is really more folks than we expected to have by this time…we usually pick up around 3 p.m. and then again after 5 p.m. when folks get off work,” poll worker Tom Daniel said.

&#8220Kind of slow” was the descriptive term used by many poll workers at the National Guard Armory Tuesday afternoon shortly after 4 p.m.

&#8220It's been pretty slow but steady – I guess that's the way it's been everywhere,” poll worker Eloise Shirley said.

In spite of the primary taking place on the ominous-sounding sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year, poll worker Fay Poole described the day as a &#8220very manageable” one.

Jeddo Bell, a fellow armory poll worker and Greenville City councilman, said he was surprised at the rather light turnout for the primary.

&#8220I am really surprised the voter turnout hasn't been that high so far. I'm not sure what the rationale is behind the low turnout – it's not the weather,” Bell said.

&#8220With races like this, you just don't know sometimes.”

Armory voter Mary Jo Sparks isn't one to shirk her civic duty.

&#8220I have not ‘not voted' since I was old enough to vote,” the Human Resources director for the City of Greenville said.

&#8220I wish people would come on out. It just bothers me when folks don't turn out to vote, it really does.”

Poll clerk Ruby Shambray said there had been only a few problems with voters arriving without proper I.D. or other difficulties.

&#8220We did have someone who had apparently never voted before, and she showed up here, thought it would be a good place to vote, I guess.”

While the mechanics of the voting procedure seemed to go smoothly, many voters were unsatisfied with the straight ticket policy.

&#8220A lot of people have complained because they wanted to vote locally (and still be able to vote Republican). But most of our local candidates are Democrats,” poll clerk Lori Milton said.

&#8220It stinks,” one voter said, shaking her head as she viewed the candidates on both the Republican and Democratic ballots.

Turnout began to pick up as 5 p.m. rolled around and lines formed at some of the tables.

Poll worker Barbara &#8220Rudy” Rudolph maintained her positive disposition through a long, tiring day.

&#8220It's a nice turnout compared to some we have had. And we still have a couple of hours to go – it's just too early to tell, you know?”

When the polls closed and all the votes, with the exception of provisional ballots; ballots where people failed to bring proper identification, had been counted, 5,484 votes or 41 percent of Butler County voters made their choice for candidates.