Voter Turnout

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As results begin to come in for the 2012 Michigan Republican Primary, Lansing area precinct workers agree that voter turnout was lower than expected.

Chris Swope, Lansing city clerk, said he expected voter turnout to be higher.

“It’s probably going to be around 10 percent, at least for the city of Lansing,” Swope said. “We expected more like 15 percent but it was closer to 10 percent.”

Ward three, precinct four worker Jaime Welch said she expected to see a lot more than 132 people vote throughout the day.

“Usually we expect to see a lot more people in the morning before the usual work hours,” Jaime Welch said. “I think maybe because the race was so close people didn’t feel like their vote counted, which is unfortunate because every vote counts.”

Jaime Welch’s husband, Michael Welch, of ward four, precinct 15 said his turnout was still low but a lot higher than his wife’s.

“We had 240 people vote out of 2,440 registered,” Michael Welch said. “We usually have a big turnout in our voter precinct because we’re kind of in the politician area where city council members live. But, our turnout was still a lot smaller than expected.”

Brad Rakowski of ward four, precinct six said he had poor participation.

“We only had 106 voters of our 1,400 who are registered,” Rakowski said. “This was a very low turnout. I’m guessing it is because my area is very progressive.” Denise Kelley of ward one, precinct 12 said primaries usually have a low turnout because they don’t seem to be as important as the presidential elections.

“When I worked the presidential election in 2008, we had almost 800 people come in to vote,” Kelley said. “This type of event doesn’t really get as much attention as one of those.”

Swope said he thought voter turnout might be so low because of a lack of democrats.

“Because of the uncontested democratic primary not as many democrats crossed over as we thought might’ve happened,” Swope said,  “or not as many came out to vote for the unopposed democratic candidate.”


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