Hattiesburg primary voter turnout low this year - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg primary voter turnout low this year

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

This year's presidential primary did not bring nearly as many voters to Pine Belt polls as it has in past years.

As folks headed to cast their ballots Tuesday traffic was likely light because this week is spring break in area schools; good for the students but bad for voter turnout. With families squeezing in a vacation with their kids on break, many residents are out of town. However, even absentee ballots for out-of-town voters were low this year - barely half what the office usually gets for a presidential primary, said Deputy Forrest County Circuit Clerk LaDonna Townsend.

"It's spring break and of course, like I said, many people don't know that there is an election today, many people think there's just a Republican primary and we have a democratic primary as well," Townsend said of the low turnout.

Townsend says her office can often gauge voter turnout by the number of calls coming in, but today, she said, it was quiet.

"As you can tell, looking at the office," Townsend said surveying a nearly silent clerk's office, "Everything is kind of quiet. It's actually really quiet... Usually the phones are ringing off the hook but we don't have any phones ringing."

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