Updated 07/16/2012 06:16 PM
Low turnout expected for 2nd Primary
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RALEIGH— North Carolina voters head to the polls on Tuesday, finalizing the ballot for November's General Election.
Voters will be deciding which candidates will advance from the second primary elections. However, many voters may not be taking part in the election process.
Election workers are already busy setting up precincts around the state preparing for Tuesday's second primary.
“We're probably going to have a very light turnout,” said Gary Bartlett with the NC State Board of Elections.
Light might be an understatement. During the early voting period for the second primaries 36,526 voters came to the polls. North Carolina has approximately 6.3 million registered voters statewide.
“You have to look at this and say 'Is this really going to give us a mandate for candidate “X” or candidate “Y”?' said political analyst David McLennan. “And really it is not.”
State election officials say when people look at their early voting numbers, it is tough to imagine that there will be long lines at the polls on Tuesday.
“You know Council of State races, once you get below governor, they just don't drive turnout,” said McLennan.
There are five races on the ballot that are for statewide offices: four on the Republican ticket and one to determine a Democratic nominee. But Bartlett said he predicts some polling places might not see a single voter on Tuesday.
“That is a possibility. That can and has happened in the past,” said Bartlett.
It is a possibility that is pretty costly for the state. Each voting precinct will staff an average of three to four workers on Tuesday. There are approximately 3,000 polling places statewide. That will cost the state between $6 million and $7 million.
Election officials say the three second primary congressional races in the western part of the state may pull in a few extra voters. However, according to Bartlett even there, the numbers were low during early voting.
“Still the numbers I have seen for those areas are disappointing. In fact it is almost shameful,” said Bartlett.
Polling locations are open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm on Tuesday.