Berks

Election official on low voter turnout: 'It's disappointing'

Election official on low voter turnout: 'It's disappointing'

READING, Pa. - Low voter turnout has plagued primary elections in Berks County yet again.

It was a virtual ghost town at the polling center in the Rhodes Apartment building in the 800 block of Franklin Street, where only 65 people had voted by noon.

The trend has county election officials concerned.

"I'm really hoping that I get more than a 17 percent turnout. I'm trying to be very optimistic," said, Debbie Olivieri, board of elections chief clerk.

The polling centers are completely funded by taxpayers, officials said, but many of those taxpayers will never see their money at work because they failed to show up to the voting booths.

"To be honest with you, I didn't pay attention to what was going on," said Thatcher Jones, who lives in Reading. "Just not interested."

The day was a bit of a letdown for 17-year-old David Lewis. The Wilson High senior is part of the student poll worker program. He had hopes of getting an up-close look of the excitement over the voting process.

"I was really hoping there was going to be more of a turnout," Lewis said. "It really just seems like people really aren't interested."

More than 200,000 Berks County voters are registered for this primary election, county officials confirm. But nowhere near that amount made it to the polls.

"It's disappointing, since the amount of effort from the county, not just this county, but others, put into to conduct an election," Olivieri said.


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