Chesterfield Mo-Traffic on interstate 64 could have suggested a busy day in this St. Louis suburb but outside the Lord of Life church only four cars sat in the parking lot. Considering this was a polling station and today was the Missouri primary election it was by any means a surprise. It wasn’t just people that were missing, however, there were no posters or banners outside trying to sway voters. It could have been questionable driving into the parking lot if this was in fact a polling station.
Inside a table with tea and coffee stood deserted. The registration table had a line of four voters with five poll workers sat helping those in line. One poll worker said to a voter this was the busiest they had been all day. It was 2:30P:M. Another poll worker said it was quiet all day with a steady stream of voters. The poll worker also said he had worked at numerous polling stations in different areas that were usually much busier than he had experienced today.
The smaller location perhaps? Republican voter Rebecca Hodges, 22, was at the primary. “I think because it’s a primary and Missouri is using the Caucus vote in March people weren’t really interested and didn’t come out to vote,” she said, “last time I voted here the line was out the door so it was funny seeing only a few people here.”
There were no protestors or campaign workers outside the building. Hodges said “it’s nice not having people shout who to vote for when you walk in the door but it’s also sad, it makes you think it’s not worth it.”
Voting was simple. The station had three paper ballots and five electronic ballots. Voters had the choice of how they wanted to vote: a luxury that will not be offered by the caucus on Mar. 17. Large touch screens gave voters step by step instructions. One poll worker said the electronic ballot was preferred by most voters. He said it was a favourite to all age groups. Poll voters were available to help voters with any problems encountered.
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said in an article in the STL Today “Even a lightly attended primary election has more turnout than a caucus, which requires voters to dedicate time on their weekend to gather and select a nominee.” What could this hold for the Chesterfield Caucus?