Midday report: Low turnout in Waynesboro elections

waynesboroI was voter 485 at the Ward B precinct in Waynesboro just after 2 p.m., more than halfway through Election Day.

What does that mean? Low turnout in the race for three contested seats each on the City Council and School Board.

The report from the Ward D polling precinct at 2 p.m. had 522 votes cast there as of that time.

For comparison sake, in 2008 Ward B had a total of 1,106 votes cast and Ward D had 1,277, and in the 2012 elections Ward B had 960 and Ward D had 1,102.

Overall turnout in 2008 was 3,276 votes, with 2,822 votes cast in 2012. This from a voter registration base of 11,568 in 2008 and 12,280 in 2012.

Which is to say, the turnout numbers in ’08 and ’12 were low, low, low – 28.3 percent of the voters registered in 2008 and 22.9 percent in 2012.

And we’re behind those years, based on the turnout numbers in Ward B and Ward D today.

My take on this in terms of what it means as to who wins, loses, et cetera: low turnout would seem to benefit the bloc currently in power and its candidates.

Good news, thus, for Sonny Smith, Bruce Allen, Terry Short and Alex Stevens.

Column by Chris Graham

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