Voter turnout in May sets new state record

The Secretary of State’s office has released voter turnout rates from around the state for the May 20 primary election, and with 32.2 percent of voters statewide heading to the polls that day, it’s a new record for turnout in a presidential primary year.

That rate is markedly better than the dismal rate of 14 percent in 2004, the year of the last presidential primary.

With 37.9 percent turnout, Daviess County beat the state average and had one of the higher turnout rates in the state. The highest rate of 45 percent was in Franklin County – home to Frankfort and thousands of state workers – and the lowest was Monroe County with only 10.6 percent.

Democrats turned out in much higher rates than Republicans around Kentucky as expected given that the Democratic presidential primary between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was still competitive while John McCain had secured the nod from Republicans long before Kentucky voted. Statewide, 43.5 percent of Democrats headed to the polls while only 19.7 percent of Republicans cast a ballot.

In the 2nd Congressional District where two Daviess Countians squared off for the Democratic nomination, turnout of 32.5 percent was only slightly higher than the state average. The 3rd Congressional District, which includes most of Louisville, saw the highest turnout rate with 39.5 percent and the 5th Congressional District in eastern Kentucky had the lowest at 28.2 percent.

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