Friday, March 30, 2007

Election Commissioner predicts 20 percent (again)

In February, Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Bill Gale predicted 20 percent of registered voters would cast a ballot in the primary. Only 13 percent of those registered showed up. Given general elections have better turnout, Gale is sticking with 20 percent again Tuesday. It probably won't help that the National Weather Service forecasts a slight chance of thunderstorms for Tuesday. Rain tends to keep voters home. But a barrage of last minute campaigning might counteract it.

As of Thursday evening, about 1,000 people voted in person. Another 4,800 mailed-in their ballots and another 4,000 mail-in ballots are still out and could come back by Tuesday.

Here's a historic look at turnout in spring general elections:
2005: 38 percent (same sex marriage on ballot, too)
2003: 32 percent
2001: 12 percent
1999: 16 percent

See Tuesday's Wichita Eagle for more on municipal election turnout in Wichita and across the nation.

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