Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter
November 14, 2013
YADKINVILLE — Yadkin voters turned out in expected low numbers for this year’s elections.
Of the county’s 23,700 registered voters, only 3,058 turned out to vote for the town elections, Jonesville’s alcohol referendum or the county-wide sales tax referendum.
The percentage equates to 12.9 percent of the voting population of the county.
“It was a little bit off, but in a way, there were more that came out than what I had expected,” Yadkin’s Board of Elections Director Janet Choplin said.
Turnout on an odd-numbered year like 2013 is typically lower in the county than on even-year ones. Municipalities hold their mayor and commissioner elections on the odd years while congressional, presidential and state elections are held on the even.
The cycle means the residents of Yadkin’s largely unincorporated territory should have had the year off from the ballot box.
This year was unique for its county-wide sales tax referendum. Voters of the town elections had an additional question on their ballot, but unincorporated voters had to make a special trip to their polling places.
“A lot of people just didn’t know about it. They either called, or some of their friends went to tell them, and they said ‘Well, we hadn’t heard anything about it,’” Choplin said. “But yet we had it in the paper, I think it was in the [Winston-Salem] Journal, and maybe even some on television.”
County residents were able to early vote and absentee vote for the sales tax. The towns elected not to have early voting for their races.
Choplin said town elections were usually lower than a presidential or other election. An unopposed race for mayor might not see many voters turn out, but a race with multiple candidates would draw larger numbers to the polls.
“What makes it to be a little bit more is if there is any competition. If there’s more than just the number of seats that’s available then, if you’ve got more candidates there for each of the offices, then there is more that comes out for those,” Choplin said.
This year’s elections were no different.
“As far as towns and the alcohol referendum, I would say it was a little bit more than what I had expected, so it turned out good for that many to come out and vote on it,” Choplin said.
The county is split into 12 voting precincts. Each has one polling location and is manned by either seven or five polling staff.
“We have seven precincts that have five workers, five precinct workers. Then we have five of our larger precincts … and they have seven in the office working there,” Choplin said. “Where he have the one-stop and the early voting, this one may be called Precinct 13 or something because we don’t have any other sites that are set up to do the one-stop and mail out the absentees. The one-stop just comes here to our office.”
In total, the county’s voting events are manned by roughly 75 staffers.
The votes are driven to Yadkinville after the polls close for the official tally.
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