Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Low turnout may result in new primary election date

The 18.2 percent participation rate was far below the previous record low turnout of 26 percent in 2002

August 30, 2006


— A record low 18.2 percent voter turnout in the Aug. 1 primaries has officials looking at possibly moving the primary date.

"We can't ignore the horrendous turnout from this last primary," Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh said today.

"It's time to at least look at the date when Kansans cast their primary votes," Thornburgh said.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius echoed his concern about the low turnout.

"I'm a big believer that democracy is not a spectator sport, and we need people to be engaged and be involved because these decisions are very critical," Sebelius said.

Thornburgh, Sebelius and Eric Rucker, who is Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's chief of staff, met as the State Board of Canvassers. The board certified the results of the Aug. 1 primary.

The primaries saw 298,972 out of 1,646,987 registered voters cast ballots. The 18.2 percent participation rate was far below the previous record low turnout of 26 percent in 2002. Douglas County had the third lowest turnout in the state at 12.2 percent.

Thornburgh said his office would give serious consideration to recommending a change in the primary election date.

But, he said, the low turnout was driven by the low number of contested races, and lack of much television campaigning.

Sebelius said she would consider changing the date of the primary because "Aug. 1 is not a great time to find people at home."

She said she hoped more Kansans would vote in the Nov. 7 general election, and that the state's advance voting law makes it easier for citizens to cast ballots.


Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 9 months ago

The abyssmal turnout reinforces my belief that we deserve the government we get.

fletch 11 years, 9 months ago

My reps were all doing a good job and none of them were facing challengers of any signifigance. I would have gone to the polls to ensure they win 98%-2% rather than 97%-3%, but I had a busy schedule of sleeping.

MyName 11 years, 9 months ago

I had planned to vote, but I was so busy moving that day that, by the time I'd even bothered to look at the time, it was past 7:00. FWIW, I would have voted if they had moved it to August 2nd instead.

Confrontation 11 years, 9 months ago

I voted since I hate the idea that old conservatives are the only ones at the polls. Of course, they do appear to be the only ones working the polls.

Jamesaust 11 years, 9 months ago

Maybe we should do what Arizona is doing and pick a random name from those who did vote as a "powerball" winner of $1,000,000.00.

miker 11 years, 9 months ago

In some countries , you get the day off ! This system we have actually is to keep you from voting.......

gccs14r 11 years, 9 months ago

OK, so if you move on August 1st, you're no longer legally registered to vote and if you manage to update your registration that day, the earliest you can legally vote is August 15th (BTDT). Have the primary on the 3rd week of August so that everyone has had a chance to settle in from moving, or have it in the middle of May before summer moving season starts.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.