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Election Commissioners inspect machines, discuss voter turnout

Possible reasons for low voter turnout during the May 6 Republican Primary were discussed by Election Commissioners during a meeting last week prior to inspecting and certifying the early voting machines for the County Election.
“Is there anything being done to encourage voters at the high schools?” Commissioner C.B. Kinch asked.
Elections Administrator Maybell Stewart said she took information to the four high schools in Washington County promoting participation.
“There is a variety of reasons (for not voting) for the variety of people,” Commissioner Jon Ruetz said during the July 10 meeting. “Some people may have the perception that the wait would be too long and it’s not something they could do on their lunch hour.”
Ruetz said the large number of new voter registrations received prior to the primary did not correspond with the 13,099 votes cast.
Stewart said many people register to vote because they need a second proof of identity in addition to their driver’s license.
“Some people don’t feel they’re being represented, so that may be another reason,” Chair Janet Willis said.
Commissioner Leslie Lacey said some people only vote in presidential elections.
“People go after something that is desired,” Commissioner Patti Jarrett noted. “How we make voting a special thing, I don’t know.”
Stewart said the hours for early voting, which begins Friday, July 18, and continues through Saturday, Aug. 2, will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Early voting sites are the Jonesborough Courthouse, 100 E. Main St.; the Gray Commons, 106 Gray Commons Circle in Gray; and the Washington County-Johnson City Health Department, 219 Princeton Road in Johnson City.