Low voter turnout for municipal elections

Michael Lillywhite

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Very few feet have wandered into voting booths to vote for Boone’s Town Council, Matthew Snyder, director of the Watauga County Board of Elections, said. 

 Boone’s estimated population is 19, 562, according to the United States census estimates in 2017. As of Oct. 25, 307 people have voted in the municipal election. 

Along with Boone, voters from Blowing Rock, Seven Devils, and Beech Mountain are all holding town council elections.

“Municipal elections involve less than half the voting population of Watauga County,” Snyder said. 

An estimated 55,088 people live in Watauga County, according to the most recent United States census data, of which 334 have voted (as of Oct. 25).

“If you live in one of our municipalities you should get out and vote,” Snyder said. 

Loretta Clawson, Dustin Hicks, Nancy LaPlaca and Virginia Roseman are all on the ballot for the Boone Town Council

Greg Cratch, an App State alumnus and Pam’s Picks volunteer, said he has a goal to “turn out the progressive vote for students,” because he believes students are underrepresented in Watauga County. 

App State enrolled 19, 280 students this semester, almost doubling the population of Boone.

“I like the fact that students have a voice,” Cratch said. “You guys are the driving force behind everything that happens.” 

Voters can vote in Blue Ridge Ballroom in Plemmons Student Union weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Nov. 1.

Those who are not registered can register at a one-stop site using same-day voter registration. A proof of residency within the municipality is required to qualify for same day registration. 

A proof of residency could be a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address or a current college/university photo identification card paired with a current roster prepared by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.