LEE COUNTY, AL (WTVM) - Lee County officials were expecting a low voter turnout Tuesday for the Alabama primaries, but were surprised by the lower than anticipated 15 percent of people who actually casted a ballot.
"I think it is every citizen's duty to participate in the democratic process and the way to do that is to go out and vote," says Auburn resident, Jim Doyle.
This year's candidates were the first to admit that this primary election was tougher than in years past.
We spoke with Lee County residents today who say the negative campaigning could have deterred voters from the polls who didn't do their research.
"Instead of slander, I think your candidate should just be able to do the job for people and the citizens," says Opelika resident Elijah Turner.
"The number of telephone calls and the number of political advertisements that came and they all seemed to be negative, at least slanting negative toward their opponent. That not always a good thing for candidates to do because it puts the person who is sending that message in a negative light," explains Doyle.
Tim Simpson ran for a spot on the Russell County school board Tuesday and lost to Dolores Allen.
Russell County only had a 20 percent voter turnout.
He says now it's time to move onto November and encourage people to do their civic duty.
"If 80 percent shows up then great, but if 20 percent shows up then that is not enough and American needs to get busy," says Simpson.
And as the campaign season begins to ramp up in the coming months, voters hope candidates will focus on the issues rather than each other.
"I don't think working about somebody's alleged character is really something we should focus on in the elections or the primary elections," explains Doyle.