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Archive for Wednesday, August 5, 1998

S ELIGIBLE VOTERS SHOWED UP AT THE POLLS.

August 5, 1998

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Douglas County's registered voters continued an unenviable tradition Tuesday:

They stayed away from the primary election polls in droves.

Fewer than one in four registered voters in the county cast ballots in the 1998 primary.

``Well, it's not good,'' Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes said of the 24.5 percent voter turnout. ``I know we've had better turnouts.''

This year's primary turnout doesn't look good, compared to 29.5 percent in the August 1996 primary election.

But it was more than the last non-presidential primary in 1994, in which only 22 percent of eligible voters participated. That year, Douglas County had the unwanted distinction of having the lowest turnout in the state.

According to unofficial results Tuesday night, of 54,670 registered voters in Douglas County just 13,396 cast a ballot. The clerk's office did not have a breakdown of the number of Democrats and Republicans that voted.

The county can expect to see more voters in the general election. In the 1996 election, 76 percent of registered voters cast ballots; in the 1994 general election, 56.6 percent of voters turned out.

Polling places saw rushes after opening in the morning and after 6 p.m., Jaimes said, and all an all, it was an average primary.

At the courthouse, election officials lugged box after box of ballots in after polls closed at 7 p.m. Jaimes said that the counting went all right.

``We were caught up counting ballots, and we had to wait on a few precincts,'' she said.

Unofficial totals were out by 9:30 p.m.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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