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Voter Turnout Low Across Philadelphia On Primary Day

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  It’s Primary Day in Pennsylvania, but across Philadelphia, voter turnout was expectedly low — very low.

“Well, I don’t think a lot of people knew that today was the day to vote,” said Kendra Balmer of North Philadelphia.

“I honestly think a lot of people aren’t as informed, or willing to come out,” said Kiera Smith, also of North Philadelphia.

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CBS3 checked in on five polling locations across the city at random.

At 16th and Jefferson Streets in North Philadelphia, a division of the 7th Ward had seen only eight voters by 2 p.m.

Voter Resource Guide

At a location in Spring Garden’s Roberto Clemente Park, numbers were slightly better. They hit 80 by noon.

“Voting in every single election is important,” Marie Petrillo said.

In South Philadelphia, it was much the same story — low turnout. In Southwest Philadelphia, one location was practically wedged in the middle of a construction zone.

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Experts say it’s not at all uncommon in an off-year primary packed with municipal races, even though people may be taking a big gamble on sitting the day out.

“They impact people’s lives on a daily basis sometimes,” Mark MacQueen said.

“Gotta vote, yes, that’s my duty,” Terry Hecht said.

Voting numbers at Bridesburg’s Point No Point Social Club hovered in the 20s by mid-afternoon. What’s keeping people away, according to Hecht, “They feel like, why bother.”

But she bothered, and so did public school teacher Naomi Robinson.

“I tell my students every day, we can have an impact, you have to get out there, though,” Robinson said.

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