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Archive for Saturday, August 31, 2002

Primary turnout lowest ever

August 31, 2002

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— The Aug. 6 state primary election is now in the record books as having a historically low voter turnout.

The final tally, certified Friday by state officials, showed that 26 percent of 1.6 million registered Kansas voters or 410,630 people cast ballots. In Douglas County, 20 percent of voters showed up at the polls.

Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh said the turnout numbers looked worse than they actually were.

Because there were no statewide contested races in the Democratic primary, many Democrats stayed home, he said.

That left the voting up to Republicans, who had several hotly contested races.

"It's not as ugly as the raw statistics look," Thornburgh said. He said 65 percent of Republican voters cast ballots.

The counties with the highest turnout were Rawlins, 61.6 percent; Lincoln, 58.4 percent; Barton, 52.3 percent; Kiowa, 50.3 percent; and Comanche, 44.8 percent.

The counties with the lowest turnout were Wyandotte, 13.8 percent; Crawford, 14.5 percent; Leavenworth, 16.1 percent; Atchison, 16.2 percent; and Finney, 16.8 percent.

The number of advance voters was up slightly, with 47,617 casting early votes compared with 44,512 in 2000. But 1998 had the largest number of advance ballots at 53,429.

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