Voter turnout low, but exceeds expectations; Nov slate set

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By Bryan Marshall


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Voter turnout locally and statewide for the May 21 primary election was low but higher than expected.

With 658,979 ballots cast out of 3,421,796 registered voters, the statewide turnout was 19.26 percent.  

The turnout in Grant County was 12.20 percent with 2,255 ballots cast out of 18,478 registered voters.

“In the 2015 gubernatorial, statewide office primary election, we had just over 9 percent turnout,”  said Grant County Clerk Tabatha Clemons

During this primary statewide officer holder election, we had 12.2 percent. Even statewide, the percentage was up. The prediction from the secretary of state was 12 percent statewide, and statewide, it was over 19 percent. Overall, that’s still terrible. It’s not a great turnout, but it was more than what any of us kind of anticipated, which is positive. We hope more people will turn out in November.”

In Grant County, every candidate who received the most votes in their respective race, except one, went on to win the statewide election.

In the gubernatorial race, Republicans Matthew Bevin and Ralph Alvarado won the statewide primary with 136,060 votes (52.36 percent), followed by 101,343 votes (39 percent) for the Robert Goforth and Michael Hogan ticket.

William Woods and Justin Miller received the third highest vote total with 14,039 compared to 8,412 votes for Ike Lawrence and James Anthony Rose.

On the Democratic side, Andy Beshear and running mate Jacqueline Coleman won the nomination with 149,438 votes (37.88 percent) followed by 125,970 votes (31.93 percent) for Rocky Adkins and Stephanie Horne and 110,159 votes (27.92 percent) for Adam Edelen and Gill Holland.

Geoffrey Young and Josh French finished in fourth with 8,923 votes.

Bevin will now face rival Beshear in the November general election.

In the secretary of state race, the majority of Republican voters chose Michael Adams, who finished with 94,404 votes (41.26 percent.)

Andrew English placed second with 62,677 votes (27.40 percent), followed by Stephen Knipper with 41,367 votes and Carl Nett with 30,340 votes.

In November, Adams will face off with Heather French Henry, who dominated the Democratic primary with 263,419 votes (70.99 percent.)

Jason Belcher and Jason Griffith fell way short in second and third place with 47,923 votes and 47,655 votes, respectively.

Geoff Sebesta tallied 12,088 votes in fourth.

In the Republican primary for attorney general, voters chose Daniel Cameron (132,400 votes) over Wil Schroder (106,950 votes) to challenge Democratic candidate Greg Stumbo, who had no challenger in the primary.

Schroder was the only candidate who won in Grant County but failed to secure the statewide nomination after locally receiving 654 votes compared to 390 votes for Cameron.

In the auditor’s race, the majority of Democratic voters selected Sheri Donahue with 134,952 votes (46.67 percent) over Kelsey Hayes Coots (95,685 votes) and Chris Tobe (58,548 votes.)

Donahue will go head-to-head with Republican incumbent Mike Harmon in November.

Michael Bowman easily won the Democratic nomination for state treasurer with 218,174 votes (66.41 percent) compared to 110,349 for Josh Mers. Bowman now will face Republican incumbent Allison Ball in the general election.

Republican incumbent Ryan Quarrels easily won his party’s nomination for agriculture commissioner with 193,994 votes (82.21 percent) against Bill Polyniak, who garnered 41,971 votes.

Quarles will be challenged in November by Robert Haley Conway, who won the Democratic nomination with 202,894 votes compared to 134,009 votes for Joe Trigg.

The May primary also gave the Grant County Clerk’s Office a chance to introduce the electronic poll book technology more widespread than it was last election.

“Overall, we had a really good day with the electronic poll books,” Clemons said. “We were able to check people in. We rolled them out in four locations. Out of the four, we had three locations that we sent deputy clerks to get everything start out, and that went very smoothly. We’re hopefully going to be able to roll those out to more precincts in November. It does make the process more efficient, especially if the voters are there with their IDs.”