Low voter turnout not unusual

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email
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Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014 --- 10:05 p.m.

Voter numbers in the City of Madison were quite low today, but City Clerk Maribeth Wetzel-Behl says that's not unusual.

"There aren't a lot of offices on the ballot that are contested, so that can drive numbers down a little bit," she explained.

Though voter numbers have been low, they are actually higher than they've been the last years.

"For the number of uncontested races on the ballot, it's higher than we have seen in previous years," according to Wetzel-Behl.

She attributes that in part to the introduction of brand new voting machines which were used for the first time this year.

"There isn't much on the ballot, but we still have plenty of people showing up to vote," Wetzel-Behl said.

She is optimistic that voter numbers for local elections could be higher in "10 years or so" because she has made an effort to convince children to vote in the future.

"When I go and talk to elementary schools and middle schools, I always ask the children to promise me they'd vote in every election," she said.

Local elections many times have a bigger impact on individuals than national elections, so voting locally is important, according to Wetzel-Behl.

The polls closed at 8 p.m. tonight.

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