Low voter turnout in primary elections

Mid-term election primaries are normally characterized by poor voter turnout, and that held true this year as only 14 percent of the state’s voters made it to the polls. In Western North Carolina, the percentages were higher than the state average, a fact that points to interest in certain highly contested local races.

Swain County enjoyed a high turnout in comparison to its neighbors with 28 percent of registered voters casting ballots. Jackson County had 19 percent turnout, and both Haywood and Macon counties came in at 16 percent.

Macon County Chairman Ronnie Beale expressed his concern about the low turnouts, but said he expected better voting rates in November.

“Everybody has a choice, but voting is the greatest right all of us have, and we’d certainly like to see more people turning out,” Beale said.

In Waynesville, voters who did turn out were hoping their fellow citizens would get to the polls in good numbers.

“I just hope we had a good turnout. Everybody should be exercising this right that we have,” said Chris Forga, a Waynesville voter with a nephew in the military. “People fight for this right we have. We should not take this for granted.”

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