Snow likely to keep turnout in primary light

Rita Hopkins of Quincy waits at the door of Christ Lutheran Church while her husband Dick Hopkins parks their truck before they vote in the 3rd Ward primary Tuesday morning in Quincy. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: Feb. 26, 2013 8:15 am Updated: Mar. 19, 2013 10:15 am

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Turnout in Tuesday's primary election for the Republican nomination for 3rd Ward alderman is expected to be low, and could dip with inclement weather.

Adams County Clerk Georgia Volm said with a primary in only one ward and one party, there was not much of an expectation for a high turnout, anyway. In 2011, three aldermanic primary elections only drew a turnout of just 9.15 percent.

Jared Holbrook, Ken Hultz and Rich Nichols are looking to become the Republican candidate after 3rd Ward Alderman Kyle Moore decided to challenge two-term Mayor John Spring. The winner will face Democrat Mike Martin in the April 9 election.

This would not be the first time snow has been a factor in an area election.

The area was hit with about 5 inches of snow the night before the primary on March 21, 2006. Volm said the now melted quickly and did not affect turnout substantially.

She said if conditions became extremely hazardous Tuesday, she could ask a court to approve extending hours of the polling places, but that is unlikely.

"It would be one of those kind of situations where if the courthouse absolutely was going to shut down, I think we would almost need a court order to stay open a couple hours longer," she said. Polls are open until 7 p.m.

Since Volm has been in office, she said the courthouse has only closed for the February 2011 blizzard and the June 2011 windstorm.

Volm said the polling place at Christ Lutheran Church, 333 S. 36th, was set up Monday in advance for the storm.

There are 4,147 eligible voters in Quincy's 3rd Ward, and the clerk's office has received many calls from voters concerned about the weather, and some have opted to cast an absentee ballot at her office.