APATHY reigned in the police commissioner elections, with only 15.1% of people turning out across Devon and Cornwall to vote in them, writes Rachel Carter.
At one polling station in Penryn, for example, only 127 people turned up to vote - less than 7% of the eligible voters in the area.
So the Packet took to the streets of Falmouth to find out why people were so reluctant to put a cross on their ballot paper.
For 20-year-old Alexandra Jones, who is originally from Newlyn but currently studying in Falmouth, there was simply not enough information available to her about the different candidates. “I didn’t feel like I knew enough about the people involved to be able to vote,” she said.
Sophie Collett, aged 22, agreed with Alexandra. “I have only just moved here from Manchester so I am not on the electoral register anyway, but I didn’t see a lot of information in the news telling me why to vote either,” she said.
Local resident, Stella Pilsworth, added: “I had the card in my hand and was going to vote but I didn’t know who to vote for. After discussing it with friends I decided I couldn’t vote because the whole thing seemed like a terrible waste of money.”
Neil Gates, aged 30, said that he “didn’t even know the elections were happening” as did Wayne Smith, although he was “not on the electoral register” having only moved to Falmouth a week ago. Similarly, 21-year-old Conor Heathcote, had “no idea” but stated that he “wouldn’t have voted” anyway.
Roger Smith, aged 27, raised concerns that “a number of police chiefs have resigned recently due to fraud and corruption.” He didn’t vote because he “believes that judges and the police are part of a corrupt criminal gang.”
In contrast, Falmouth shop-owner, Andrew Spencer argued that “it is important to participate because people fought for our right to vote.”
“I voted because I want to be one of the people deciding these matters,” he said.