Low voter turnout expected in New Orleans for Saturday election

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wwltv.com

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 7 at 8:00 PM

Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
Email: mrodriguez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mrodriguezwwl

NEW ORLEANS-- Election workers in New Orleans spent Friday moving voting machines into place, ahead of Saturday's election. There are 366 precincts in the city, but Orleans Clerk of Court Arthur Morrell said turnout will likely be concentrated in City Council Districts B and E, where there are hotly contested council races. However, even turnout there is not expected to be high.

"I don't anticipate a very large turnout at all, except for those precincts, those different areas," Morrell said.

It is a sentiment echoed by demographer and Eyewitness News Election Analyst Greg Rigamer. With this election falling just before the holidays, and with no major ballot initiatives, he believes most voters in the city are likely to sit this one out.

"If it's a big election event, with a lot of things on the ballot, there's a buzz in the community," said Rigamer of GCR & Associates. "So, there is a lot of reinforcement. When you have an election like this, where it's really not much on the ballot, it's isolated to a few races, it isn't the top of conversation for a lot of people."

That means races that are hotly contested, like the runoffs in Council districts B and E will come down to a much smaller number of voters than those who voted in the primary last month.

"I think you're going to see it over 10 percent, but I think it'll probably be in the 20 percent range, 15-20 percent," Rigamer said. "If the candidates do a good job in getting their core constituency out, the numbers will come up a little bit."

Those numbers, though, are a far cry from those in November, during the Presidential election. In that case, District B had a 48 percent voter turnout and District E saw 57 percent. Those races could now be decided by less than half as many voters.
 

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