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Smithsburg officials discuss low voter turnout

June 02, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

SMITHSBURG -- Smithsburg town officials on Tuesday night discussed ideas for increasing interest in town elections after a low voter turnout for the May 11 election.

The election attracted 115 voters in town of about 3,000 residents, officials said at a Smithsburg Town Council meeting.

Judith Ferro, chairperson of the town's election board, said she remembered a town election that drew more voters when only 800 people lived there.

"It's a sad, sad thing," Ferro told council members.

Ferro attributed the trend to people being "very busy." Ferro said she also believes that little campaigning by candidates affected turnout.

Ferro said she put up about 25 posters in the hope of triggering more interest in the election.

There was discussion about offering rides to people who do not have transportation to town hall on election day. Ferro said perhaps something can be mentioned in The Trumpet, the town's newsletter, about rides for voters.

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Council member Donnie Souders Jr. said perhaps a "meet and greet" night, at which town residents could meet candidates, would increase interest in future elections.

"I think we do everything the county and the state does," Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

Troy Jernigan and Tyler R. Lushbaugh won the council seats of Dennis "Jack" Wenthe and Charles "Bud"" Lucassen in the election.

Neither Wenthe nor Lucassen filed to run for another term.

Myers, who ran unopposed, won a fourth term.

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