Low Voter Turnout, Experts Explain Why Numbers Could Be So Low

It was a rainy day, but that's not keeping some folks from doing what they consider their civic duty.

"We had a hard time trying to vote, so now that we can, I love voting," said Bessie Caldwell who lives on the West Side.

"I think it's important especially as a young person who just got the right to vote recently to know who's running the city and to have a voice in who's running the city," said 22 year old Elizabeth Wright from Dilworth.

 "I became a naturalized citizen about 40 years ago from the Netherlands. I believe in this wonderful democracy in the United States," said Ricka Peterson of Cornelius.

Those three represent the precious few who actually did cast a ballot this off year election.

Early voting numbers were down this year according to board of elections director, Michael Dickerson.

"We're about 4,000 votes off from what we were two years ago for early voting. We still think our percentage should be around 18 percent which is historically what we typically get on municipal election days," said Dickerson.

Dr. Susan Roberts, political science professor at Davidson College, explains one reason why turnout could be so low.

"Older voters see their civic duty more in terms of voting and jury duty. Younger voters, millennials, see their civic duty more in terms of volunteering, working for causes, but not necessarily going to the polls," said Dr. Roberts.

The voters we spoke with say the low voter turnout is a shame.

"I think they should get out and vote whether it's raining or not," said Caldwell.

"I know a lot of people my age are cynical about the political process so that could have an element in it," said Wright.

"I think it's a lot of people who don't understand what a privilege it is. Don't understand how many people - being from Europe - sacrifice their lives for this freedom," said Peterson.

Once polling precincts close at 7:30, election workers will be driving the ballots to the elections office, to be counted.