December 21, 2014

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Voter turnout for primary election ‘abysmal’

Residents cast their votes in Sheffield Lake on Tuesday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Residents cast their votes in Sheffield Lake on Tuesday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

SHEFFIELD TWP. – Voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary election was lower the Lorain County Board of Elections officials had expected.

Both elections board Director Paul Adams and Deputy Director Jim Kramer had predicted turnout would be around 19 percent of the county’s 202,672 registered voters.

Tuesday’s turnout ended up being 14.75 percent, Adams said.

“The turnout was abysmal at most of the places,” he said.

He said that figure might tick up as a few absentee ballots trickle in and provisional ballots are counted.

The turnout number is actually an improvement over the May 2013 primary, when 13.46 percent of the county’s voters showed up at the polls, according to the elections board’s website.

Adams said he visited several polling locations around the county on Tuesday and was surprised at how quiet they were.  Although he said he saw steady turnout in Sheffield Lake, where an income tax increase was approved by voters, other areas were empty. Sheffield-Sheffield Lake Schools also passed two renewal levies.

Providence Church in Avon is one of the largest voting centers in the county and has a traditionally high turnout, but Adams said when he visited the site Tuesday, he sat there for five to 10 minutes before a voter walked in.

Adams also said elections officials encountered few problems, something he attributed to the low turnout.

“It was probably one of quietest elections that we’ve had in our control center when it comes to problems,” he said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.