Thursday, May 12, 2016

Election turnout expected to be low

Election officials expect next week's turnout for the primary in Kentucky to be low.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes on Wednesday projected approximately 20 percent of the 3.2 million people registered to vote in Kentucky will turn out for the May 17 Primary Election. Crittenden County Clerk Carolyn Byford predicts 17 percent turnout locally.

“After reviewing absentee data provided by our county clerks and historical turnout in similar election cycles, I believe one in five registered Kentucky voters will cast ballots in Tuesday’s Primary Election,” Grimes said. “While presidential primaries generally draw significant interest, overall turnout will likely be driven lower because Republicans held a presidential caucus earlier this year.”

Election officials are expecting a lighter turnout among Republicans because the party held a caucus to choose presidential delegates in March, Grimes said. Republican voters in the Primary may still consider candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, state Senate and state House.

About 13 percent of voters cast ballots in the 2012 Primary Election, the last presidential election cycle. In 2008, when the office of U.S. President was an open seat, Primary voter turnout was approximately 31 percent.

As of May 9, 5,694 voters had voted absentee on machines in county clerks’ offices and 9,814 absentee ballots had been mailed to voters.

Grimes encourages voters to prepare to vote on May 17 by checking their polling places and viewing sample ballots through, Kentucky’s new one-stop voter portal.