Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Thin ballot means thin lines

Turnout stands around 10%

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — A thin primary ballot kept most Northern Kentucky voters away from the polls Tuesday as turnout hovered around 10 percent in the region's three counties.

        Boone County had the largest turnout with 12 percent, followed by just over 10 percent in Campbell County and 8.1 percent in Kenton.

        “It was pretty bad, but there really wasn't much on the ballot for people to vote on,” said Kenton County Clerk Bill Aylor. “We had a presidential race, but everybody knows what is going to happen there. And we got about 15 percent in Covington for the mayor's race, but there was noth ing local in most of the counties, so that brought the percentage down.”

        Boone County Clerk Marilyn Rouse said she was hoping more people would have turned out for some of the local races.

        “My prediction was 20 percent,” she said. “Obviously, I was a little off.”

        The voting precinct at St. John's United Church of Christ on Newport's east side is usually one of the more active voting spots in the city. But by noon only nine people had voted, said precinct worker Bob Roth.

        “It's slow,” he said. “Real slow.”

        The turnout in Latonia, spurred by Covington's mayoral primary, was a little better.

        At about 3 p.m., 71 of the 500 or so voters registered at Precinct 25, which is in a firehouse, had cast ballots, said poll worker Helen Moore.

        “That's about what we expected,” Mrs. Moore said. “It should pick up a little more. A lot of people come in after work.”

        But fewer voters were turning out in a similar-sized precinct also housed in the fire station. By 3 p.m. 51 people have voted, which was about 10 percent of the registered voters, according to precinct workers.

        Mr. Aylor pointed to two precincts as examples of how low turnout was in Northern Kentucky.

        “Look at Edgewood 3, a precinct on the east end of Dudley Pike, Mr. Aylor said. “We had 47 votes out of 1,189 registered voters.

        “And at the Hands Pike precinct in the south end of Covington, there are about 2,100 registered voters but only 170 people showed up,” he said.


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