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Tue September 11, 2012
Many N.H. Voters Sit This Election Day Out
Governor Lynch is leaving office after eight years and gubernatorial nominees from both parties are fighting for last-minute in today's primary.
But despite the zeal from the recent presidential conventions, not to mention the glut of political signage, many New Hampshire voters decided to sit this election day out.
Sheryl: "I’m out at the Amherst Street Elementary School, polling place for Ward 3 [in Nashua], just waiting for a voter to show up…still waiting…here’s maybe somebody…excuse me, were you voting?"
"It’s a day to come out and vote. I wouldn’t miss it."
Lucille Cutty of Nashua’s Ward Three leans her frail body on a walker as she takes a small step from the door.
She says one issue in particular brought her to the polls:
"The business issues. The jobs."
This north end ward of Nashua has 4700 registered voters.
Arthur Barrett is the town’s moderator.
He says that in the first three hours of the morning, about 150 people cast ballots.
"It’s lighter than anything you can imagine. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of awareness that there’s an election today."
Sheryl: "Why do you think that is?"
Barrett: "I don’t know what the reason is. People are looking forward to the presidential election come November. Some of the people I’ve talked to in the last few days indicated they didn’t even know there was an election today."
White: "What is it? What primary?"
Sheryl: "What primary? White: Yeah. Sheryl: You didn’t know there’s a primary today?White: I didn’t know there was a primary today. Sheryl:No? Really?"
That’s Marcus Francis White from Nashua who was walking downtown.
He says now that he’s up to speed on today’s events, he’ll look up who’s running and for what.
Dirk Smith of Hollis goes to get a cup of coffee in Nashua’s Railroad Square.
He hasn’t voted yet today and didn’t know an election was underway:
Smith: I don’t know yet when our date is for our next vote. But, believe, me, every time there’s an opportunity to vote, I’m always there. I never miss it. I thought it was just a Nashua election today.
Smith wasn’t the only resident in Hollis to miss the primary. Officials in Hollis say only ten to fifteen percent of the town’s 5500 voters showed up.
Across the canal in Hudson, the polling center is lively with neighborly chatter.
Nonetheless, the community center has seen better voting crowds.
Town moderator Paul Inderbitzen says Hudson has around 14 thousand registered voters. But he doesn’t expect to see most of them today:
"The State sent us ballots. They sent us about 3500 Republican ballots and 2,000 Democratic ballots. We don’t usually go over their numbers, so I’m sure it’s going to be a light turnout."
Inderbitzen says there’s not a lot of controversy in this primary.
But some Hudson voters like Susan Wilson see it otherwise:
"Very concerned about jobs. Very, very concerned about jobs. And medical care. And I just pray that this time we’ll do it right."
Secretary of State Bill Gardner anticipates around a 21 percent voter turnout.
That’s a far cry from the razzle-dazzle of participation state officials can expect in November.