Less than 24 hours before election day voting is scheduled to commence at First Baptist Church of Elon, a custodian was sweeping floors of a room bare of any set up or electoral personnel.
“They’ll probably be here later this afternoon to set up,” said the custodian on duty.
In “off years” for elections, when there are no presidential, congressional or senatorial seats to be voted on, voter turnout is extremely low.
“These elections have become almost critical,” said Randy Orwig, senior pastor at the Elon Community Church, “and at any time, no one turns out to vote in these smaller elections.”
The Elon Community Church was told they would hold elections in their new facilities upon their completion, however Orwig states they were never contacted, dispite signing an agreement.
Instead, the Baptist Church will be holding the elections again, after the facility was moved there from the Elon Fire Station.
“These smaller elections are where tea party and ultra conservative politicians get into the local governments and start controlling school boards and local affairs,” said Orwig. “If no one is turning out to vote, it is much harder to stop these people.”
But will the voter turnout tomorrow really be as low as expected? Four years ago, in 2009, only 2,898 citizens turned out for the Burlington mayoral elections out of the 55,000 people who live in Burlington. This turnout dropped by over 100 voters in 2011.
“I’ll probably vote in Guilford tomorrow, but I’m not really sure,” said Don Wagoner, a Guilford County resident stopping by the Elon Post Office.
“Your service as a citizen is voting,” said Orwig, “it’s important for as many people to vote as possible because that is how a democracy runs best.”