By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Civic duty influences Statesboro, Bulloch voters
052014 ELECTIONS 04
Tracey Simmons pats son Elijah, 3, on the head while checking to vote at the William James Center Tuesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Local races were the top draw for several area voters in Tuesday's primary election.

Many voters stated that it was their "civic duty" to exercise their right to vote.

They said they wanted to make a change in their community.

Ros Roberson, 32, a child-care teacher from Portal, said people often overlook local elections because of their "busy lives."

"A lot of people, we always go and vote for the president and national [elections]. But, we will often miss the things that are local ...," Roberson said. "We just have to take the time out to go and vote. But, things are important: education, homeowners, things like that that we often sweep under the rug, or that we don't come out and vote for."

According to unofficial results released late Tuesday night, 6,449 ballots were cast in Bulloch County, representing 20 percent of the registered voters. Provisional ballots were still outstanding.

Carlita Slatky, the director of the University Store on Georgia Southern's campus, put it more bluntly.

"It's always important (to vote)," she said. "I like to complain if there is something wrong, and you can't complain if you didn't vote."

The poll precincts were not as busy as some of the officials thought they would be with this election.

Brenda Steadman, who was at the Fairgrounds precinct, and Bill Ponder, at Pittman Park, noticed a steady stream of voters, but not the number they expected. Ponder said that by 3 p.m., only 197 ballots had been cast.

Mary Cook, 85, of Statesboro, was disappointed with the turnout at Pittman Park.

"I think it is important for everyone to vote, and I am sorry that there are not more people here that do," Cook said. "It is just a privilege that we have. We complain about local things, but we need to vote."

Ponder said that one noticeable change was the fewer number of students at the polls compared to previous elections.

The lack of student votes might be the result of the current summer term beginning earlier this week.

One Georgia Southern student who did make it to the poll was Jordin Hall, 20, a senior psychology major, because of her belief that voting makes a difference.

"Before I wasn't really involved in Statesboro elections," Hall said. "But me being a student here, it's important, because I go to school here, I live here."

Hall said she wanted to be involved with her community even when a lot of students "think it doesn't matter."

A recurring theme among voters was that it was their opportunity to make a difference in their community.

"I just want to see change around here," said Jeffery Jackson, of Hawkinsville, Ga., who is a library assistant at Georgia Southern's Henderson Library. "You can actually initiate change around here by getting out to vote."


Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter