Cedar Rapids Weather
Unusual Parkersburg Polling Place Attracts Hundreds of Voters
By Mark Geary, Reporter
PARKERSBURG -- People in Parkersburg have spent much of their time over the past week or so cleaning up after the tornado. The storm destroyed the town's original polling place, but the auditor found a new location.
Tuesday's primary election was one of the first, scheduled public events for the community.
No one really knew if anyone would show up and vote in Parkersburg's primary. Concerns about destroyed homes seem to be a little more important than the candidates. Yet, the chance the take a break with a ballot brought people to the polls.
"You need a little touch of reality to get away from that a little bit. The outside world goes on,” Parkersburg resident Shirley Pepples said.
"We're still in town and we thought as long as we're here, we're going to come out and vote,” Parkersburg resident Loren Spree said.
The storm destroyed the original polling place, so the Auditor had to move everything here to the club house of the local golf course.
"Normally , you would have to place a sign on the old polling place saying your polling place has moved, but we really didn't have a place to post the sign, so they waived that requirement for us,” Butler County Auditor Holly Fokkena said.
Residents admit it's a little strange to be voting at a golf course, but at the same time, it's also a little comforting.
"It was kind of nice to see something the same as it was two weeks ago,” Parkersburg resident Sarah Pepples said. "If you don't keep moving forward, there's a danger you won't."
While so much remains uncertain in Parkersburg, this simple, steady process proves life can go on after a disaster.
If this community had low voter turnout, everyone would have understood. Instead, the election the pulled in four-times as many people as the previous primary.
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