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Voter apathy high in Wilsonburg

Editor's note: With one of the most competitive and important elections just weeks away, The Exponent and Telegram continues its series of stories highlighting the views of our readers in North Central West Virginia.

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

WILSONBURG -- Voter apathy, stemming from a lack of enthusiasm for either presidential candidate, seemed to be the general consensus for many who live and work in Wilsonburg.

A number of residents reported that their dissatisfaction with the choices would probably result in them not even showing up at the polls.

"I'm not sure yet if I'm going to vote," said Brian Aman. "I'm not thrilled with either candidate and the debates didn't change that. Neither of them are impressive."

Aman said he was more impressed with the vice presidential contenders than Bush and Gore.

Tim McNally, who was working in Wilsonburg, was undecided about the election too.

"I'm on the fence at this point," he said. "But I'll probably vote for Bush and Cheney because I don't feel like Clinton and Gore have gotten it done."

McNally believes that voter indifference is high because citizens don't have much faith in government.

"I don't think the government listens to the little guy," he said.

Many watched the presidential debates and for some it helped determine who will get their vote. For others, it just reiterated their growing disinterest in politics.

Wendy Konkol, 23, a registered Independent, is voting for Bush. She had been undecided before the debates.

"Gore seemed really rehearsed," she said. "Bush went out and said what he felt and he didn't sound so speechy."

Konkol also agrees with many of the philosophies that Bush advocates and falls in line with his ideals on many issues.

With such a close race between candidates, it may come down to a simple personality contest, residents say.

The race for governor has voters voicing stronger opinions.

"I think I'm going to vote for Wise because he seems more aggressive and eager to do more for the state," Konkol said.

McNally said Underwood would get his vote.

"I think he's done a good job during his term and has done a good thing for infrastructure and bringing jobs to West Virginia," he said.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or jbiller@exponent-telegram.com.

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