PHOTO: Voters cast their ballot Thursday evening at the Thompson’s Station Baptist Church / Photo by Alexander Willis
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
The primary elections on Thursday have since come and gone, with residents of Thompson’s Station coming out in the hundreds to select their preferred candidate.
Thompson’s Station’s estimated population of 5,000 pales in comparison Spring Hill’s 40,000, and even more so to Franklin’s estimated 78,000, but that didn’t keep voters from coming out in droves.
The city of Thompson’s Station had five different voting locations; Burwood Community Center, Bethesda Public Library, Thompson’s Station Baptist Church, Heritage Elementary and Independence High School.
At the Baptist Church, election worker Dan Bateman said they had seen around 350 voters by 5 p.m., and that they anticipated an after-work rush by the end of the day.
Bateman said they “were pleased with the people that came in to vote and exercised their right.”
Bateman also said they make a point to make the experience for children visiting with their parents a positive one.
“The little people that come in, we always call them the future voters, we give them extra stickers, and make a big deal out of it,” Bateman said. “We want them to have a favorable experience when the parents cast the ballot.”
Bateman also spoke about why he believes the primary elections historically have much less turnout than general elections.
“I think the idea of a primary can be confusing,” Bateman said. “People can’t cross party lines, and I think, generally, people don’t give it as much import. However, the primary is the precursor to the general election – dare I say, the gateway to the general election, and people have to know that it’s a filtering process that’s very vital to the entire concept.”
At the Bethesda Public Library, lines were already spilling outside the building by 4:30 p.m., with election workers saying they had already seen 380 voters by that time.
Election worker Michael Briggs said they’ve seen as many as 720 voters at the library during a presidential election.
Briggs said even with all the early-voting, plus the expected 500 that day, that would still only amount to 30 percent of the precinct voting, which Birggs described as “a very poor turnout.”
Things were a bit slower at the Burwood Community Center, however, the precinct is also much smaller than surrounding precincts.
Election workers said they had seen 103 voters by 4:20 p.m., and had seen 120 early-voters at that location.
“It’s been a pretty decent day for a small precinct, more than I expected to see today,” said election worker Jim Kubiak. “November we should get a lot more, but this is pretty good for a primary.”
For full primary election results, be sure to check in with the Home Page’s extensive election coverage.