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Oct 20, 2009 7:37 AM by Jim Hummel

Low Voter Turnout

Parishes across Acadiana are reporting rather low voter turnouts in this weekend's special elections.

"It is disappointing in a way that you know, a lot of money is spent per vote," said St. Landry Parish Registrar of Voters John Moreau

On every election, Moreau estimates that anywhere from $800 to $1,000 can be spent per precinct just to prepare for voting day, a cost that adds up when you have 87 precincts.

Among the areas with the lowest turnout in St. Landry Parish were those in Eunice's gravity drainage district 9.  That's where 47 people, just 4% of those eligible to vote, approved a millage to make improvements to the area's drainage system.

"47 people is not a lot of people to make a decision like that," said Eunice resident James Kent Thompson, who says drainage improvements are needed, but wishes he could have had his say.

"I didn't know anything about it, I just don't know anybody who did," Thompson said.

Committees and groups that put items on the ballot are responsible for the election costs, but most of these entities are in the end funded by the taxpayers. 

Across Acadiana voter turnout was lowest in Acadia Parish, where just 3% of eligible voters came out to the polls.  St. Martin Parish had the highest turnout at nearly 16%.

 

Jim Hummel

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