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Archive for Wednesday, July 29, 1998

CANDIDATES SEEK HOMEGROWN SUPPORT

July 29, 1998

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Legislators make plea at Farmer's Market to get people to the polls for the primary election.

Disturbed by Douglas County's performance in primary elections, three area legislators turned the Farmer's Market into their podium Tuesday, urging people to get out and vote in next week's primary.

Sen. Sandy Praeger and Reps. Tom Sloan and Barbara Ballard hit the pavement, passing out advance voting applications and bemoaning the county's poor primary turnout.

``We have the dubious honor of having the lowest participation in the last three primaries,'' Praeger said.

Several factors may contribute, Praeger said, summer vacations and the student exodus among them. But it's also because people incorrectly assume primary races aren't important, Praeger said. They determine the makeup of precinct committees, she pointed out.

``It's easy to vote in the primary election, and we think it's important,'' the senator said.

Sloan later noted that younger voters move a lot and may no longer be in Douglas County though they're on the rolls.

Though he's concerned, ``it's less of an indictment than it initially appears,'' Sloan said.

Advance voting allows people who can't make it to the polls Tuesday to vote beforehand. Sloan, Ballard and Praeger picked the Farmer's Market for their venue because it tied into a ``grassroots'' campaign, Praeger said.

Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes confirmed Douglas County's turnout at the primaries has been dismal the past few years.

In 1996, 13,724 out of 46,432 registered voters turned out to cast a ballot in the primary. In 1994, 10,403 out of 45,692 made it to the polls. In 1992, 9,679 out of 36,970 voted.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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