Leaders Lament Voter Turnout

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Elected officials attending the Council of Governments meeting Monday in Lauderdale County wondered out loud why voter turnout was as low as it was, reaching only 40 percent. Circuit Clerk Donna Jill Johnson said the low number is disturbing.

"Needless to say, this election we didn't quite have 40 percent turnout. We've tried to analyze it you know, what with the fact that we had just mailed the cards, people knew where to go vote," said Johnson.

Retiring District 1 supervisor Hank Florey offered an observation.

"The youngsters don't have the penchant for politics the older people used to have in the county," said Florey. "The young people, you know, the kids are in soccer, in swimming and basketball. They're very busy and there's not the penchant for politics we used to have in the rural south."

"We've been having our young people show up until this election and we didn't have a lot of young people this time," Johnson said. "You're right."

Ward 1 City Councilman Dr. George Thomas said people are no longer political party oriented. He says he believes open primaries might be the answer.

"A lot of people, particularly older folks, they were definitely Democrat or Republican. Wasn't any doubt. You hear more and more people if I can't vote for both of them I just won't go," said Thomas.

Florey put last week's District One race, involving five candidates, this way. Without a burning issue in my district, he said, the election turned out to be just a popularity contest.