Voter Turnout Light in Phoenixville, Chesco

One candidate calls the turnout in her Phoenixville precincts 'horrible.'


With 86 percent of the precinct votes reported at 11:17 p.m. Tuesday only about 10.44 percent of eligible voters in all of Chester County had cast a ballot in the Pennsylania Primary Election.

It's a turnout rate candidates and poll workers at several Phoenixville polling places had expected but found disappointing just the same.

Incumbent Phoenixville Borough Council Candidate Dana Dugan (D-West Ward) had visited all three precinct polling places in her district when Patch caught up with her at the Phoenixville Area Middle School a little before  7 p.m.. "Horrible," she replied when first asked how turnout had been for Tuesday's primary.

"Normally this is what you'd expect on a cold day, a rainy day, but today is beautiful," Dugan said. "You know maybe becuase it's so beautiful, it's too beautiful. People had other things to do," she said looking over her shoulder at the packed tennis courts at the Middle School.

Dugan echoed the sentiments of other candidates and some poll workers Patch spoke with at other Phoenixville area polling places Tuesday who say many voters don't fully understand the importance of these primary elections. "These are races for school board, and Borough, and Mayor," Dugan said, "and these people affect your life more than the President."  Dugan said presidential elections always draw big crowds, but that primaries like this one, in an off year don't grab the attention of the electorate.  "Most of the stuff the President does doesn't affect your life at all. What I do, I determine how much you're pahing for taxes, how much you're paying for your trash, how much you're paying for your water/sewer bill and that's something that I think people should be more involved in, and for it to be so few people, it'll be like 10, 12 percent who come out this time and that's sad."

Phoenixville Area School Board incument candidate Betsy Ruch (R-At Large) had been to 19 polling places by 5:45 p.m. and reported the same basic turnout numbers everywhere. "I think it's a shame, really," Ruch told Phoenixville Patch as she greeted the small handful of voters who trickled in to vote at Phoenixville Area High School. "Four years ago when I ran there were like 33,000 voters and about 3,300 voted. It's really too bad. People should have more interest. You know, it's off-year, but school board are the people who set the tax rate so they should at least be able to vote for them."

Inside the PAHS lobby where 45 out of a potential 743 registered voters had cast a ballot betwenn 7 a.m. and 5:50 p.m. veteran poll workers were also disappointed, but not surprised, by the lack of voter turnout.

Judge of Elections Pat Slawecki told Patch "What disturbs me the most is people do not consider the fact that the primary election is more important than the general election because in the pirimary they eliminate the people that they don't want and they vote for the people that they do want. And if they want somebody to run in November, they have to vote for them in May."

Get the most up-to-date election results from Tuesday's primary here on the Chester County Voter Services website.

Jim W May 22, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Do your own homework. I plan on following the law.
nameless citizen May 22, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Lack of voter turnout is not just a local problem. It is a national disgrace. Lack of republican voter turnout is the reason we have the terrible leader in Washington. Remember people, if you don't vote you don't have the right to complain about the results. We get the leadership we deserve.
SS May 22, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Nameless.....I'm so glad someone finally said it. (I read more than post) - But it is so true. I unfortunately was out of town yesterday so I could not vote. I hope however it turns out it's what best for all of us.
Ed Roper May 22, 2013 at 06:31 PM
Lack of a viable third party prevents us from having a competent leader in Washington. Neither of the candidates in this last election would of really done any better a job.
Lisa Longo May 22, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Lack of voter turnout on both sides is the issue, Democracy is a participatory sport, we need to motivate people to get involved, come to local meetings, school board, borough council, planning, zoning, there are many meetings, and all will do better with more input from our community. As for a 3rd party, our system is not setup for a 3rd party, we need to realize that, and if you are unhappy with the current leadership, get involved, local democratic and republican committee meetings are open to all registered party members. Let's remember that we are the government and get involved.
Greg Hytha May 22, 2013 at 10:16 PM
It's nice to hear from the candidates. Thanks Lisa! I appreciate Ken Buckwalter giving his contact info also....
A Taxpayer May 22, 2013 at 11:00 PM
I too, and also my wife, are registered as 'No Party' or 'Independent'. Politicians have to realized that more and more folks are registering as 'Independent'. If they are really concerned about our vote, they should change the law and allow 'Independents' to vote. Some States allow ALL registered voters to vote in primaries which even allows the major party registrants to vote for anyone on the ballet independent of party affiliation. Time for Pennsylvania to join 'em.
A Taxpayer May 22, 2013 at 11:03 PM
There was a time I changed from Independent to Republican to Democrat, etc almost every election year just so I could vote for someone in the primary. I'm not now, and never have been a 'party' member. No party has ALL the right people running. And I've never, in over 50 years of voting, pulled a straight ticket lever.
A Taxpayer May 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM
Seems to me that the Patch could publish the Phoenixville results so I don't have to look at everybody else's.
Lisa Longo May 23, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Greg, you can contact me on FB at Lisa Longo for school board, and I will post when I set a date for monthly Q&A, thank you for being involved and interested
harry finster May 23, 2013 at 03:16 AM
vote for me i live in california and could care less what happens in loserville ,but i probably would do better than your local politicians even if i did absolutely nothing ,you cant tell the difference between a sports coach and a qualified person
Obama Remorse May 23, 2013 at 03:37 AM
The "prove there is fraud" line is the boilerplate response by the liberals of the party that thrives on voter fraud. Why do you have an opposition for showing your ID? It's not that hard, and there are many more things of less importance in our society that require an ID. Be honest - you want faudulent votes.
David Curran May 23, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Sorry there OR, it is not about me. I have several forms of photo ID. It is about people like my grandmothers who never had one. It's about people who live in cities who never needed a drivers license. No my friend, the burden of proof of voter impersonation relies squarely on the people who are willing to waste state money.
harry finster May 23, 2013 at 04:31 AM
most of the political maneuvering is done behind the scenes, and a false veneer is shown which most people are too stupid to see through,especially in backwards places like phoenixville
David Dawson May 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM
I,vote to "Impeach" OBUMA !!!! Before it's "TO LATE".....
Jim W May 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM
A high school education, a work ethic, and a state id are all free, yet millions are missing all three.
David Curran May 23, 2013 at 01:20 PM
@jim, you are just flat out wrong sir. Public education and supposed free ID are not free. They are paid for by the taxpayers. Likewise, all if the expenses associated with PAs voter suppression are a taxpayer burden. Voter education, mailings and yes the litigation expenses are all paid for out of taxpayer money. Now Jim if you had done your homework you would have realized that voter impersonation problem really does not exist.
Jim W May 23, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Now I understand why your neighbors at the polls don't want you to vote.
David Curran May 23, 2013 at 01:44 PM
Thanks for acknowledging that your real reason for voter ID is to prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote. I bet you are a poll tax, Jim Crow law kind of guy Jim.
Jim W May 23, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Right now I am worried for your Grandma. Without an ID, that means she has not left town for 22 years.
Paul O'Leary May 23, 2013 at 03:14 PM
OR: Huh? The two don't relate. If I want to vote in the primaries for a person who I think would be the best to run for a particular office it shouldn't matter what party I, we, they belong. I want the person who I think will be the best, regardless of party affiliation. Political parties, in my opinion, are not private clubs like the Moose etc... They are all parties of The People. Why should I only get to vote for the people chosen by only a portion of the electorate? In my opinion the 2 party system is broken, opening up the primaries to all would be a good first step in reform.
Paul O'Leary May 23, 2013 at 03:20 PM
And on a side note. I do appreciate it when those posting comments have the decency to use their real names. Hiding behind "John Does" is weak and lends absolutely no validity to your point of view. I see it all of the time from many of the same users. It leads to abusive comments and brings down the quality level for the readers. I really wish that the Patch would eliminate those who don't use their real names and those who constantly make abusive comments.
Ken Buckwalter May 23, 2013 at 03:41 PM
I agree..
Ike May 23, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Ike May 23, 2013 at 04:00 PM
tHE ONLY REASON THAT HE GOT TO BE THE PRESIDENT WAS THE YOUNGER PEEPS and “Minorities. There were some who never voted in their whole life, (the older ones) like peeps in their 70s and 8os..Than the one ones , who just turned 18,, they didnt know any better.... YOU KNOW THAT obamama is really messing up now,, the media is turning on him , telling the truth about his ways.. EVEN HIS HOLLYWOOD PEEPS ARENT SAYING ANYTHNG.... TIME FOR A CHANGE!!!!! RIGHT NOW Oh where have you gone R.M.N.
Kyle Guie May 23, 2013 at 05:59 PM
If anyone in the Middle Ward would like to contact me, please email kyleforcouncil@gmail.com or check me out on facebook at Kyle Guie for council
Kim Feindt May 23, 2013 at 09:13 PM
I do truly hope that the day does not come when pollworkers must turn a voter away because they do not have valid ID. A woman walked to the polls, made an effort to vote (something that many people think too inconvenient, as we note above) and did not happen to bring her wallet with her. This year she was able to vote. In a future year, red tape will keep even more people from the polls, people who do have valid ID's but busy lives. It's the remembering to bring the wallet after all the years of not having to do it that will hurt voting numbers. I picture having to turn someone away and them telling us they won't be back.
David Curran May 23, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Your signature in the book is the way voters have been identified for years. Why fix something that is not broke, unless of course you have ulterior motives. As I stated earlier, you always had to show ID when going to a new polling place.
Ike May 24, 2013 at 12:36 AM
I didnt even know who was running for Mayor...I heard Miss Jones is ..... Wake her UP PLEASE.... Make sure she has a nap before going on......... Please do tell ,,,,SHE NOT REALLY RUNNING ,,IS SHE??
Ike May 26, 2013 at 01:19 PM
All you gots to do is set the ALARM CLOCK WHEN YOU WANT TO SEE THE MAYOR IF ONE OF THEM WINS...SEMPER FI...AWAKE AND READY!!!!.....If she wins there will be no SMOKING ON BRIDGE ST....And nap time if you work for the boro ,,well they allraedy have that , but this will be on the books.... Where have you gone Mayor DOCK ,Big Timmy and Officer Demsey $$$$ !..A GREAT team way back,, all were closer than most knew$$$$$.


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