Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 8, 2012

Election turnout down locally

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

ASHLAND — Local voter turnout on Tuesday was down compared to the presidential election four years ago, officials said, adding fewer registered voters headed to the polls in Boyd, Carter and Greenup counties than their counterparts across the state.

According to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office, preliminary voting results put turnout in the state close to 58 percent. Turnout reached 64 percent in the 2008 general election and 64.7 percent in 2004.

Boyd County Clerk Debbie Jones said unofficial voting results from Tuesday place turnout at 49 percent. A total of 19,399 voters cast ballots in Boyd County; 36,498 are registered.

Turnout was down in raw numbers as well as the percentage of voters in Boyd County when compared to 2008 when 58.6 percent, or 21,111 voters out of 35,995 registered, cast ballots.

“We actually had a good day yesterday as far as voter turnout, with very few problems,” she said Wednesday afternoon. Jones said every precinct “was busy, but the voter turnout was not quite as big as it was four years ago.”  

Carter County Deputy Clerk Coleena Elam reported turnout around 49 percent on Tuesday, with 10,149 voters out of 18,874 registered casting ballots. Turnout was down nearly 4 percent from 2008, when 53.7 percent voted.

Elam pointed out, however, that turnout was huge compared to the May primary when just 8 percent of voters cast ballots. She also reported few problems at the polls.

Greenup County Clerk Pat Hieneman said she had suspected turnout would be lower than 2008, based on early absentee requests. But Greenup voters turned out in the highest percentage to cast ballots compared to their neighbors in Carter and Boyd.

More than 55 percent of Greenup County registered voters cast ballots Tuesday, down from 60 percent four years ago. Of the 27,708 registered voters in the county, only 15,414 cast ballots in this year’s election, compared to 16,396 of 27,303 in 2008.

Jones and Hieneman both noticed a number of voters cast ballots in local races, but declined to make a choice in the presidential race. There were 250 such voters in Greenup County and nearly 290 in Boyd County.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.