Voter turnout ‘very light’ in Clinton, Centre counties

DUNNSTOWN — What a difference seven months can make.

Last November, a line snaked around the Dunnstown Fire Hall as voters took their place to cast ballots in the Presidential election. However, on Primary Election Day 2021, there were no lines, no crowds. Voter turnout was light, to say the least.

Kim Coleman, Judge of Elections, was enjoying a cup of soup during the early afternoon hours on Election Day.

“It’s been slow,” Coleman said, “very sporadic.”

According to Coleman, the low voter turnout is due to the lack of notable races.

“The only contested race (on the ballot) is the Woodward Township supervisor race,” Coleman explained.

For the Presidential election, a total of 963 residents cast ballots at the fire hall. On Tuesday, the tally wouldn’t be close.

“We’re just a little over 100 right now. It’s a very big difference,” Coleman said.

Even the decline in COVID-19 cases didn’t draw people out to the polls. Coleman said there wasn’t an official policy as far as masking was concerned.

“There have been people who have come in without them, but for the most part, people have them (on),” Coleman said.

In Centre County, the story was the same.

In the Pleasant Gap area, there was no wait at the Public Safety Training Center. Judge of Elections Joan Andrews said that voter turnout was “very light.”

“We don’t have one-eighth of the voters we had (in the fall). I don’t understand why people don’t take this seriously. The school board (vote) is important and the questions are imperative,” Andrews said. “This is a very important election.”

There were a handful of voters who came through the doors at the Public Safety Training Center. Like the fall, there were pens for each voter and large bottles of hand sanitizer. Election workers were spread out and masked. Andrews said that they were following guidelines that came from the Centre County Board of Commissioners.

“We got a four- to five-page directive from the county commissioners,” Andrews said. “We are six feet part … we are sanitizing.”

Andrews and her crew said that they would rather be busy, like they were in November.

“It’s a really long day, especially when it’s this slow,” Andrews said. “The last election? We hardly knew where the day went.”

The polls were open until 8 p.m. last night.


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