Primary turnout expected to be low

Print More

Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

(Host) Vermonters will head to the polls tomorrow for the state primary. Voters will decide their party’s nominees for statewide offices and the legislature. Secretary of State Deb Markowitz says polling places are not likely to see the same large turnout as the March presidential primary:

(Markowitz) Turnout in a primary is driven by the ballot. The more contested races there are in a ballot, the higher up the ticket they are, the more people that come out. And in fact this is a pretty sleepy primary.

(Host) There are only a few statewide contested races. Tom Costello and Nate Freeman are vying for the democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. Craig Hill is challenging Democratic incumbent Congressman Peter Welch for that nomination. And there are a few contested elections in some legislative districts.

Markowitz says she expects a similar turnout to the 2006 statewide primary when 19 percent of registered voters went to the polls.

In state primaries, voters take ballots for all four parties into the booth, and mark one ballot and discard the rest. Markowitz says this gives Vermont voters an advantage:

(Markowitz) In Vermont every voter is an independent voter, we don’t register by party. And so Vermonters can pick the ballot they’re interested in participating in.

(Host) The deadline for registration to vote in the primary has already passed. Markowitz says if people are unsure about their registration, they can call their town clerk, or the Secretary of State’s office.

Comments are closed.