Voter turnout light for primary elections

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(Host) Town clerks from around the state are reporting a relatively light turnout today for Vermont’s primary election, but turnout in some communities is heavier than expected.

VPR’s Bob Kinzel reports.

(Kinzel) With only a handful of contested statewide races on the three major party ballots, state officials are predicting that less than 15 % of Vermont’s eligible voters will participate in today’s primary election.

However some communities have active local contests for the Legislature and county races and turnout in these towns is expected to be considerably higher than the statewide average.

On the statewide level there are four races. The Democrats are choosing a candidate for treasurer between Ed Flanagan and Jeb Spaulding and the Republicans are selecting a candidate for the U.S. House among Bill Meub, Greg Parke and Karen Kerin.

The Progressive Party, which is holding its first primary ever, has two contested races. Michael Badamo and Peter Diamondstone are seeking the party’s gubernatorial nomination and Cindy Hill and Boots Wardinksi are running for attorney general.

Here’s a sampling of voter reaction to the primary at Montpelier City Hall this afternoon:

“I voted in the Democratic primary because there are a couple of key people that I wanted to see become elected.

“Well, I voted in the Republican primary mainly because during the last presidential election, I said I’m not going to vote Democratic again. So that’s why.”

“I crossed over to another party – not the party that I am affiliated with – to get my candidate elected.”

“I’m an independent and I voted for the Progressives.”

(Kinzel) Polls will remain open throughout the state until 7:00 p.m. this evening.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.

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