Low primary turnout not an indication of interest for November election

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(Host) Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says she’s not discouraged that voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary was one of the lowest in many years.

When the votes are certified in about ten days, it’s likely that final tallies will show that fewer than 10 percent of all eligible voters participated in the primary election. In recent years, overall turnout has ranged from 12 to 30 percent.

Participation this year in the Republican Party was unusually low. Roughly 12,000 people voted in the GOP primary. About twice that number voted in the Democratic primary. Markowitz says there’s a good reason why turnout was so low:

(Markowitz) “Turnout in a primary is no indication of voter apathy and really will not have any relevance to what the turnout will be in the General Election. I expect a very strong turnout this upcoming presidential election, November 2. The turnout in a primary is driven by candidates and campaigns and so the more very competitive, active primaries you have, the greater the turnout. And that didn’t happen with the exception of the lieutenant governor’s race on the Democratic [side]. So it’s not surprising that there’s a strong turnout on the Democratic side but that overall it’s very low.”

(Host) Markowitz says it will take her office several days to tally the results of several write-in campaigns in the Progressive Party primary. Party officials backed a write-in campaign to thwart efforts by several Liberty Union candidates to win spots on the Progressive Party’s statewide ticket.

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