East Winston precincts deal with issues

East Winston precincts deal with issues
March 17
00:00 2016



Although much was at stake on Tuesday when voters across the state submitted ballots for the primary election, precincts in the eastern portion of Winston-Salem did not see a big turnout.

An election official at the precinct voting at Carver High School, Gray Brendle, said there were times when they saw a steady flow of voters but, for the majority of the day, they were not busy.

“After hearing from other precincts, I just don’t think there is as much excitement in predominately Democrat precincts, ” Brendle said.

Brendle said he believes Republican precincts had a better turnout because many registered Republicans are trying to either stop Donald Trump from earning the nomination or help him win.

According to Brendle, the Democratic voters don’t seem to have the same sense of urgency.

Aside from a low turnout rate, precincts in East Winston also had to deal with a number of voters going to the wrong voting sites. Brendle, who was at the precinct from open to close, mentioned he had to turn several voters away.

“I feel bad for those people,” Brendle continued. “It can be disheartening to get all the way to the poll and be told that you can’t vote.” According to poll worker Roger Hayes, the precinct at the14th Street RecreationCenter saw some of the same issues.

“People who have voted for 20 to 30 years are going to vote and being told they are at the wrong place,” said Hayes. “The voters are becoming frustrated and just giving up.”

Hayes said he also had a number of issues with the new voter ID requirement. In order to cast a ballot, voters had to show a state-issued photo ID. It is the first time the state’s voter ID requirement has been implemented.

According to Hayes, a number of the voters who showed up to the polls had IDs that were expired. He also mentioned that the ID requirement is also a reason precincts in East Winston had such a low turnout rate, even though voters without a state-issued ID can still cast a provisional ballot.

Hayes said the African-American community has to do a better job of being knowledgeable about the voting process and under-standing the importance of primary elections.

“Many African-Americans don’t believe these elections have anything to do with us,” he continued. “I had someone tell me today that they were going to wait until it really counts to vote.”

“We have to wake up and realize that every vote counts. That’s something we as a community don’t really understand.”

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