Low voter turnout expected in Suffolk for primaries

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2005

Less than 10 percent of the city’s 45,173 voters are expected to turn out for Tuesday’s dual primary elections.

&uot;It’s going to be a low turnout,&uot; said Patsy Parker, the city’s registrar. &uot;People just don’t usually vote in primaries.&uot;

Primaries are required by the political parties to determine the nominee for an office when more than one party member files for the seat, Parker said.

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Democrats will be electing their candidate for lieutenant governor between Leslie L. Byrne, J.C. &uot;Chap&uot; Petersen, Phillip P. Puckett and Viola Osborne Baskerville.

The Republican Party’s primary will decide who will run for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, Parker said.

Republican candidates running for governor include George B. Fitch and Jerry W. Kilgore; lieutenant governor, Sean T. Connaughton and William T. &uot;Bill&uot; Bolling; and attorney general, Robert F. &uot;Bob&uot; McDonnell and Stephen E. Baril.

Despite Parker’s projections, Art Bredemeyer, chairman of the Suffolk Democratic Committee, is hopeful voters – regardless of party affiliations – will come Tuesday.

&uot;I’m hoping turnout will be good and that people will see the importance of getting out to vote in the primaries,&uot; he said. &uot;We have four excellent folks running for office.&uot;

Under state law, voters may only vote in one primary election. Voters arriving at their polling sites will be asked whether they will be voting in the democratic or republican primary. The voter’s declaration will not be interpreted as an oath of party membership or loyalty, Parker stressed. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Call 923-3690 for more information