Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Low Turnout Afflicts Primary Day

This was my first primary election in Tredyffrin Township as a candidate. Knowing that all candidates for the Board of Supervisors were endorsed and that the election was uncontested, I guess I was still surprised. On Tuesday, May 19, I arrived early at my polling location (W2) at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli with the memory of November 2008 Election Day still fresh in my mind. That autumn day the voter line stretched through the parking lot, on to the sidewalk and down the street. The wait to vote was nearly 1-1/2 hours but the festive, party-like atmosphere made the wait even more exciting!

With memories of the last Election Day swirling in my mind, I enthusiastically looked forward to 2009 Primary Day (and my first as a candidate). After morning and lunch-hour rushes that looked more like a trickle, I remained the eternal optimist. Until the polls closed at 8 PM, I visited the township’s 17 voting locations and met many volunteers and voters. The day provided a wonderful opportunity to see many old friends, and to meet new ones.

The polls closed and the votes were counted. The voter turnout was low . . . a history-making low for Tredyffrin Township. We had 12-15% of our registered Tredyffrin Township voters participating in this year’s primary. In the days since the primary, I have reflected that the election was probably overshadowed by the attention-grabbing presidential campaign of last year; many voters were still feeling the ‘burn out’ from the politicking of 2008.

Thank you to the voters who voted in the primary. Remember, for local government to be effective we all need to participate in the process. I am looking forward to an exciting Election Day 2009 – Tuesday, November 3 when our vote can make a difference!
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