Primary election voter turnout typically low

NORFOLK, Va, (WAVY) – Tuesday, voters across the state cast ballots to decide who will represent them in the November general election. However statistically voter turnout during Primary elections is low.

“The good things is, if you vote, your vote counts more than it usually would. More likely to really make a difference,” Jesse Richman, ODU Political Science Professor said.

Things to Know Before You Head to the Polls

According to Rachel Bitecofer, Director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, in the last few cycles turnout has averaged  between 5 and 6 percent of the electorate.

Bitecofer told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings if Tuesday’s turnout is 6 percent or more, it would mean voters are more engaged.

She said democrats submitted more absentee ballots for today’s primaries.

Professor Richman believes the competitive races are drawing some while others simply have not been captivated by the campaigns.

Virginia Primary Election Results

“I think it’s going to be very interesting to see how this turns out, especially the democratic primary for governor. Polls have been up and down both ways. It’s going to set up either way a really intense competition,” Professor Richman said.

He thinks turnout has been modest, but said there are a lot of eyes on Virginia. It’s a state considered a gauge for both major parties ahead of the midterm congressional elections.

“The challenge is, can we keep the focus on Virginia issues? Can we keep the focus on who’s going to be best for the state or is it going to be torn to completely the national issues?” Professor Richman questioned.

A state elections official told Cummings there haven’t been any major problems statewide. 10 On Your Side has not heard of any in Hampton Roads.

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