State Capitol News
3:39 pm
Wed September 8, 2010

Three of Every Ten Voters Turn Out in Arizona Primary

Phoenix, AZ – It turns out that the percentage of people who either cast an
early ballot or went to the polls on Aug. 24 is higher than its
been in any primary since 1990. Two years ago the turnout was
just 22.8 percent. And two years before that -- the last time
most statewide offices were up for grabs -- it barely managed to
crack 23 percent. Secretary of State Ken Bennett said there could
be several reasons for that.

(You had some key contested races. You had a lot of excitement
with just general dissatisfaction, the tea party groups, a lot of
talk about how the balance of power in Congress could turn on
just a few votes.)

Several of the congressional seats in Arizona could be in play in
November. In fact, four of the five highest-turnout counties --
Yavapai, Greenlee, Gila and Graham -- are in Congressional
District 1. Incumbent first-term Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick had no
opposition. But eight Republicans battled it out, with Paul Gosar
getting the party's nod. That didn't seem to matter in Coconino
County where turnout was less than 28 percent. That big 1990
primary turnout came as Republican Fife Symington won a five-way
race to become his party's standard-bearer -- and eventually
defeat the Democratic nominee. His name? Terry Goddard. For
Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.