Busy at the Polls
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Magic Valley residents are turning out at the polls.
Not only are they exercising their right to vote, but some of them are coming out for additional reasons. According to one local election official, the current heated political climate is a big motivator.
“What’s going on right now in the country is bringing people out,” said Delores Silcott, an official for precincts 13-14 and 25-26. “There have been riots, burning of the flag. … I’ve heard both sides.”
You don't have to look long or far to see the contention. It's in the news. "Whenever anybody hiccups," she said, "the media is there to report it."
Silcott said a line of people had formed before polls opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday at a stake center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where her precincts were held. Once they opened, volunteers saw a fairly continuous stream of voters throughout the day.
One of them, Diane Barrett, said she always has tried to exercise her right to vote, and there wasn't any one issue that brought her out to the ballot box on Tuesday. Asked about Propositions 1 and 2 – about horse racing in Idaho and expanding Medicaid coverage, respectively – Barrett said she was not in favor of Prop. 2 because she was afraid it would increase taxes; and as for Prop 1 – “I’m not in favor of gambling in any form,” she said.
Silcott said Tuesday afternoon that everyone at the polls so far had been respectful, but if anyone were to start on a rant they'd have to shut it down quickly because the ballot box is not the time or place for political arguments. She said she had not heard many voters talk much about either proposition, either before or during the elections.
The only hiccup experienced was that the precincts ran out of voter registration cards and had to request more, she said, but that was a good kind of stress because it showed that people were coming out to vote.
For first-time election volunteer Heather Muth, Tuesday was an interesting experience, albeit a positive one. She'd help people find on a map their precinct and direct them to the proper booth.
A few people walked out in a bit of a gruff because they didn’t know their precinct before coming to the stake center, finding out only after they arrived that they had to go elsewhere for their proper precinct.
That’s not any election official’s fault, of course. "People need to know their precinct," she said.