Polls report low turnout in special primary for 5th District commissioners seat

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The polling places for the special primary for the 5th District seat of the Mower County Board of Commissioners reported low turnout numbers early this afternoon.

In a district with about 7,600 residents and more than 4,000 registered voters, fewer than 200 people had voted by 1 p.m.

As of 1:05 p.m., 84 people had voted at Southgate Elementary School where about 1,966 people are registered. As of 12:50 p.m., 98 people had voted at the Austin High School where about 2,114 people are registered to vote.

Ardie Ohman, head election judge at Austin High School, said primaries typically have a low voter turnout. The unique circumstances of the special primary may also contribute to the low turnout, she said. Unlike typical elections, this primary is being held on a Wednesday.

“It’s an unusual election,” Ohman said.

Ohman said the weather forecast, which calls for freezing rain this afternoon and tonight, may be keeping voters from the polls.

About 500 voters had been expected at the high school, but Ohman said there will likely be fewer than that.