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Voter turnout coming in lower than predicted

The 2019 November elections are underway in Buchanan County, but so far the turnout is coming in lower than predicted.

Posted: Nov 5, 2019 5:01 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The 2019 November elections are underway in Buchanan County, but so far the turnout is coming in lower than predicted. 

Buchanan County Clerk Mary Baack-Garvey expected somewhere between a 10% - 12% turnout. However, as of 3 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, the rate was only at 5% with about 2,558 total votes.

"When it's a one issue ballot, the turnout is usually quite low," Baack-Garvey said. "There's not a lot of hype about these one issue ballots."

The only issue up for a vote is the continuation of an 8-year Capital Improvement Tax for Buchanan County that is set to expire at the end of the year.

Those working at the poll booth locations also reported seeing low traffic throughout the morning and early afternoon hours. Supervisory Judge at the Ashland United Methodist Church precinct Janice Mallon said many of the voters didn't realize how short the ballot was.

"Well people come in and they think it's going to take them a while to vote and they sit down and they answer the one question and they get up and are surprised how effortless it was," Mallon said. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church usually receives the largest turnout rate being the precinct with the highest number of registered voters (6,200 voters). 

"When you go into the primaries or if you go into some of the elections that have a high public interest then they're [votes] are a little bit higher," Dick Schott, supervisory judge at Our Lady Guadalupe location, said. "This is a good election and we just hope that the turnout gets better."

The polls are open until 7 p.m. Tuesday, November 5th. Count on KQ2 for full election coverage and results. 

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