Low turnout, weather forces precautions for Michigan primary

Posted at 5:00 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 07:26:34-04

No lines. No waiting.

Usually it's something people are happy to see but on election day for Jennifer Popler, it's disheartening.

"It's saddening that people don't come out to do the primaries," Popler said. "Because every time we have an opportunity to exercise our right to vote, we should be doing it."

For the mother of three, voting on primary day is especially important, "that's who's going to be on the ballots that we vote on in November and to make sure we have the right people."

But Lansing's City Clerk Chris Swope tells me the low turn out is helping to keep all of the ballots in order.

"With the August elections, there's always a little bit of concern," Swope said.

He's concerned that the ballots could absorb some moisture from all of the humidity.

"It's a big ballot it's wide," Swope said. "It's on thick heavy paper and the machines are designed to only take one ballot at a time."

If the ballots absorb too much moisture they can expand. The machines may think there's more than one being inserted and refuse to read them causing voters to start from square one.

"We might have to have the voter vote a new ballot so that they can put it into the machines," Swope said.

But Swope and the workers are proactive, "we try to keep them in there cellophane wrap until we hand it to the voter."

So far at the South Washington location Tuesday afternoon none of the ballots have been affected.

"We have extra ballots. It's not a big issue it's just an inconvenience," said Swope.

Something Jennifer Popler and her kids didn't have to deal with.

"It's always important to come out and have my kids come with me and they get the experience of what the voting is like," Popler said.