Turnout low in Kentucky primary
Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 8:01 pm
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Predictions of low voter turnout for Kentucky’s primary election Tuesday proved correct.
The Secretary of State’s office reported on its website that with almost 100 percent of the precincts reporting, voter turnout statewide in unofficial results totaled 10.3 percent. That’s 301,814 ballots cast out of more than 2.9 million registered voters.
The ballot included the Republican gubernatorial nomination, which was won by state Senate President David Williams and his running mate, Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was unopposed.
The low turnout made for a slow day at polling places.
Polls opened at 6 a.m. local time, but as the day wore on, precincts around the state went extended stretches with little or no action. Polls in the eastern half of Kentucky closed at 6 p.m. EDT and in the western part of the state at 6 p.m. CDT.
At precincts in Louisville and Bowling Green, more than 20 minutes passed without a voter stopping to cast a ballot. Turnout in northern Kentucky was also light, with 45 minutes passing at midday at a normally busy precinct in Fort Mitchell that is host to two polling places.
John Nienaber of Burlington in northern Kentucky’s Boone County wasn’t surprised at the thinned ranks.
With nearly 100 percent of the precincts reporting in Boone County, 4,868 voters, or 6 percent, had cast ballots out of more than 82,000 registered Republicans, the website showed.
“I think it’s an indication that people are losing confidence in government to do the job it’s supposed to do,” he said.
Republicans spent the day choosing among three tickets to select nominees to take on Democratic incumbent Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, in November.
Williams easily defeated Louisville businessman and tea party favorite Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw.
Topping the Democratic ballot was incumbent state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, who successfully fought off a challenge from Steve Hamrick of Hopkinsville.
Secretary of State Walker, who had been appointed earlier this year, lost her bid for a full term to Lexington lawyer Alison Lundergan Grimes in the Democratic primary.
Joining Walker and Grimes on the Democratic ballot were five candidates for Agriculture Commissioner; political newcomer Bob Farmer was declared the victor in that race.
In the Republican primary, state lawmaker James Comer defeated Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger. Lexington businessman John T. Kemper overcame the stigma of personal bankruptcy to win the state auditor nomination over state Rep. Addia Wuchner.
In addition to Beshear, also unopposed for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, were Attorney General Jack Conway and his GOP challenger, Todd P’Pool. Republican K.C. Crosbie of Lexington was unopposed for the nomination for treasurer. Democrat Adam Edelen of Lexington was unopposed for the nomination for auditor.
Published in The Messenger 5.18.11