Voter turnout at the polls in Natrona County has been shockingly low today, County Clerk Renea Vitto said.

"It's really surprised me," said Vitto, whose office is in charge of running elections.

Judges at many polling places have told her and elections officers of the extremely light turnout, she said.

"One of our biggest polling places, which is 310, Community Health Center, is reporting at noon that they only had 200 voters and they have 3,000 registered voters in that polling place," Vitto said.

Construction in the area of the Community Health Center on Blackmore Road has been heavy and may have discouraged some voters from going to the polls, but that doesn't explain low turnout elsewhere, she said.

She's also not seen the usual last-minute rush of people turning in absentee ballots, either, Vitto said.

She wasn't expecting this.

Absentee voting has been high this year, and that indicates a comparable interest at the polls, she said. "It's always been pretty right-on."

Likewise, voter interest should have been high because many of the legislative races have had contested primaries, and there's been a relatively crowded field in the Republican primary for Natrona County Commission.

But the competition hasn't always been friendly, and that may have turned off voters.

"I have a feeling that people are not happy with a lot the candidates' discussions about each other," Vitto said.

People dislike negative campaigning, she said. "They won't vote for a candidate, they won't vote for anybody because they don't want to be involved."


The polls close at 7 p.m.

For more information, log on to the county's elections website, or call the clerk's office at 235-9206.