Voter turnout up and down at inner city polls

Voter turnout up and down at inner city polls
November 10
05:45 2016



Turnout at predominantly black voting places in the city was like a roller coaster ride on Tuesday night with numbers very high at some locations and historically low in others.

At Forsyth Tech’s Maize Woodruff Center at Carver School Road and Lansing Drive, more than 300 people showed up to cast their ballots, according to chief judge Kay Shelton. With just over an hour left before the polls closed, Shelton said the flow had been steady throughout the day.

“The turnout here has been pretty good. We started out fast and had a little down time around 1 o’clock but we picked back up after voters got off work,” Shelton said.

Just down the street at Carver High School, chief judge Donielle Walker said only about 30 people showed up the entire day. She said, “It’s been pretty slow, but we had a big turnout during early voting, so that could be a contributing factor.”

Walker also mentioned many of the people who showed up to vote at Carver were at the wrong precinct and had to go elsewhere. She said a number of provisional ballots were submitted throughout the day as well.

At the Fourteenth Street Recreation Center in the heart of East Winston, volunteer Puccinni Roseboro said it was much of the same. During a short discussion with The Chronicle, Roseboro said many people were going to the wrong voting place because they had not done their research.

“A lot of people are showing up here because it’s convenient for them or because they have friends and family members who are registered to vote here,” he said. “Many people didn’t do their research before coming out. I think that’s the biggest issue.”

Roseboro, who has been a chief judge at 14th Street before, said turnout was slow during the primary election as well.

“This neighborhood usually doesn’t have a large turnout in the primary but I was expecting a better turnout today,” said Roseboro. “I’m really disappointed in the turnout here.”

At the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, voters were waiting at the door at 6 a.m. to cast their ballots. Chief Judge Brian Miller, who has volunteered on election night for more than 40 years, said he has never seen anything like it. Miller said after the initial rush of voters to start the day, the flow remained steady.

“We had about 30 people waiting outside this morning. Since then, it has been pretty steady, most of the booths are filled at all times.” Miller said.

With just over two hours before the polls closed, the Martin Luther King Jr. location had already seen close to 400 voters. After casting her ballot, city native Junetta Holman said she was going home to pray that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton becomes the next and first woman President of the United States.

“I feel confident that Clinton will get the win but just in case I’m headed home now to pray,” laughed Holman. “This election has been crazy. I haven’t seen anything like it but I’m kinda glad that it’s all over.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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