Voters a 'no-show' for run-off races

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Tuesday, several coast cities held primary run-off elections. Some of the races will actually be decided by Tuesday's vote. But despite those high political stakes, turnout at the polls was poor.

At the Ocean Springs Civic Center Tuesday, playing solitaire, studying for college, and reading an e-book were more popular than voting. The machines sat empty. At the Margaret Sherry Library in Biloxi, parking spaces were plentiful. Voters were not. At the Innovation Center in Biloxi, it was the same story.

Those few voters who did show up had their reasons. One of them was Lisa Ziz.

"I just voted a couple of weeks ago, but I just felt like it was important that I come out today because my opinion and my vote does matter," Ziz said.

Thirty year military veteran William LeBlanc was more direct about the lack of voters.

"It's sick. People ought to get out and vote. If they don't, then they have no complaints," LeBlanc implored.

Other voters, like Barbara Anne Jones, were just as adamant.

"It's a disgrace, it really is," Jones scolded.  "Everyone over 21 should make it their duty to vote on these important issues, not just this race today, but all the races."

Lonely poll workers question whether their effort is worth it. Janan Brewington is one of them.

"It's a long day. We've been here since 6 o'clock, we'll be here until 7 o'clock tonight for maybe 400 voters. It just doesn't seem right," Brewington said.

Joe Cavilla is another poll worker.

"I think people need to understand that this is one of the most sacred rights we have, to go out and vote. We've lost a lot of veterans in war to get give us this privilege and this right and we need to enforce it and we need to use it," Cavilla said.

Tuesday's turnout was frustrating for the pool workers, obviously. It's even frustrating for the voters who took the time to cast their ballots. But imagine being one of the people who helps organize the election.

"It is frustrating," said Election Commissioner Mark Spicer. "We're only at 10 percent right now and we'd like to see, obviously, 100 percent, but we're not getting it and we don't know why. We haven't seen the younger voters. We've seen mainly the older voters.

When the polls close at 7pm, the results will start to come in. You can see the results from the Primary run-off races by clicking on the election banner at the top of our news app, or right here on WLOX.com: http://bit.ly/13JiLKd

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