NEWPORT – Roughly 58 percent of eligible voters in Newport cast ballots in Tuesday's general election, data provided by the city's Canvassing Office shows.
According to a summary report produced by City Canvassing Clerk Rick O'Neill, 8,244 out of the city's total 14,254 registered voters turned out to the polls this year, down slightly from 2008 when voter turnout approached 68 percent.
And while the number of voters was down from four years ago, at some polling locations, voters were forced to wait up to two hours before they reached the polling booth.
Much of the delays can be chalked up to the city's decision to reduce the number of polling places from over a dozen to seven. The move, which was spurred on by a required review of the city's precinct lines following the 2010 census, also coincided with the state's effort to require voter ID.
O'Neill said that his office had received numerous complaints about the length of time it took for many to cast their ballots and adjusted staffing throughout the day in an attempt to quicken the pace of the day's voting.
Overall, turnout in Newport lagged slightly behind that of the state, where an estimated 61 percent of voters turned out, according to the latest estimates.
For more, be sure to pick up a copy of this week's edition of Newport This Week, on news stands Thursday.