Tuesday dawned sunny and cooler, a perfect day to make the time to have a vote count. For voting locations in the city, turnout seemed balanced for a primary election.
At Grace Lutheran Church on Mechanic Street, individuals in the parking lot were still hoping to garner last minute votes from those voters making their way inside at the last hour. Meanwhile, inside the church, voting officials noted the turnout of 99 voters (as of 7 p.m.) was typical for Bradford City’s 3rd Ward, First District during the primaries.
It was a pretty standard turnout for the Bradford City 2nd Ward as well, but there was a noteworthy exception to the regular flow of the day’s events. Poll officials, who are on hand to help with the technical aspects of voting or with questions in regard to specific voting options, were a little busier than normal at this location.
“We did have a lot of people asking questions about write-ins,” said Virginia Palagonia, Judge of Elections.
As of one hour before the polls closed, polling officials at the First Presbyterian Church had helped 125 voters in the ward cast their votes.
Meanwhile, at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles on East Main Street, turnout for Bradford City’s 5th Ward was not as expected.
“Voter turnout has been poor,” James L. Zannelli, Majority Inspector for the 5th Ward, noted. “In the 5th Ward, we have approximately 500 registered voters. At this particular time (7 p.m.), we have only had 31 voters cast their votes.”
Zannelli noted that, while this is the primary and therefore only registered Republicans or Democrats can cast a vote for their respective party’s candidates, this was not necessarily the biggest reason for low turnout.
“I think this is a sign of the worst disease against success — apathy,” Zannelli said. “A lot of people think, ‘Does my vote even matter?’ But, if enough people who felt that way came and voted, then it would matter. We need involvement to make changes.”
Zannelli did point out that those who voted are to be reassured their votes make a difference.
“Every vote counts, and voters should be assured the machines are 100% accurate. Every vote is calculated professionally to ensure every vote is heard,” he said.
As a final sampling of the city’s polling locations, a stop at Hill Memorial Church found a slightly higher turnout for voters of the Bradford City 4th Ward.
Shortly before the 8 p.m. close of polls, 175 voters had make their selections. Voting officials noted that the turnout was a bit better than expected, particularly for a primary election.
Voters at that location seemed well-versed in the voting process, arriving to place their votes and then go about their day with minimal questions or concerns.