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Less than 50,000 turnout for election day

By Matthew Smith, Good Morning El Paso Weekend Anchor / Reporter
Published On: May 12 2013 05:12:30 PM CDT
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 07:35:32 PM CST

ABC-7's Matthew Smith reports

EL PASO, Texas -

As election night 2013 came to a close, a familiar theme for years past surfaced.

Voter turnout was down.

Dating back to 2008, the average turnout in El Paso County for election day is around 23 percent. If you take out presidential and congressional election cycles, the number dips much lower.

More than 350,000 people were registered to vote in Saturday's election. Only 13.62 percent of those eligible voters cast a ballot.

"It's ridiculous, and I'm very upset because of that," said Sib Abraham, a local attorney. "I think there ought to be a lot more representation in this city and I hope next time they'll take care of that."

Others didn't seem so surprised.

"I don't think people know much about the candidates," one man told ABC-7, declining to give his name. He added that he, himself, had not voted.

According to numbers collected on the county's election website, run-off elections typically see a dip in voting compared to general elections. Whether the case will hold true in El Paso has yet to be determined.

Three local city council seats remain open, as well as the mayoral position.

The run-off is expected to take place in June, pitting City Representative Steve Ortega against businessman Oscar Leeser. Leeser was the top vote recipient on Saturday, more than doubling Ortega en route to capturing 47 percent of the vote. With such low turnout, he needed only 1,190 more votes to avoid a run-off next month.

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