Few vote in primary elections

As Kansas moves towards the August 3rd primary election there’s a great deal of interest, at least among a certain segment of the population, in the outcome of the election.

I say a segment, because history shows that few people vote in primary elections. A relatively small number of voters has a large say in who represents the parties in the November general election.

In the 2008 primary election in Sedgwick County, 36,724 out of 241,052 registered voters cast ballots. That’s 15.2 percent.

In the 2006 primary, 37,617 out of 229,942 registered voters, or 16.4 percent, voted.

My analysis of the Sedgwick County voter file shows that 20.4 percent of voters might be considered likely primary voters, meaning, in this case, that they voted in one or both of the most recent August primary elections. The figure for Democrats was 21.4 percent, and 32.4 percent for Republicans.

The Libertarian and Reform parties do not hold primary elections, and unaffiliated voters generally don’t vote in primaries. Only 2.6 percent unaffiliated voters voted in one or both of the most recent August primaries. That’s why the percent of all voters that are likely primary voters is lower than both the Democrat and Republican figures.


2 thoughts on “Few vote in primary elections”

  1. This is so interesting!

    It will be even more interesting to see the numbers that vote this year!

  2. I get so aggravated when people only follow the presidential elections, or say their vote doesn’t make a difference… American Majority can tell stories of ONE vote making a difference in the primary. And with advance voting as an option, and such convenient ways to register to vote and easy-to-access information about the candidates online, I’m saddened by the poor turnout. (Sorry, I’m preaching to the choir!)

    Another thing – when will my young generation gather some sense, start facing the facts and thinking about the long-term best interests of our nation, and voting for limited government? I’m so enthused by the young candidates and politicos I’m meeting in Wichita, and I hope to spread enthusiasm and mentor more young people that care. We’re the ones being sacked with the debt! Put those potato chips down, get off the couch, and let’s go do something with our lives, like save for our own retirement and VOTE.

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